Heavy traffic returns as long break comes to an end

By THE STAR | 4 September 2017

PETALING JAYA: Today marks the end of the long weekend as well as the school break that Malaysians have been enjoying, which can only mean that there will be long jams back into the cities.

To prevent bottlenecks along the North-South Expressway, motorists are advised to plan their travelling time.

PLUS Expressways Bhd has advised those planning to travel between the Klang Valley and Perlis, Kedah, Penang, northern Perak and Johor to enter the highway before 10am.

Those travelling to or back from other states should only start their journey after 10am.

Since the Meteorological Department has forecast isolated rains and thunderstorms in most parts of Peninsular Malaysia today, motorists should drive below the regular speed limit for better control of their vehicles, as well as to recover from the effects of aquaplaning.

Aquaplaning happens when a vehicle slides uncontrollably on a wet surface.

According to safety tips on the Malaysians Unite For Road Safety (Mufors) website, a slower speed allows vehicle tyres to have a better grip on the road.

Caught in an aquaplaning effect, it said drivers should steer their cars to safety and must never jam on the brakes as this could cause the vehicles to slide and skid uncontrollably.

During a breakdown or emergency on the highway, drivers should head for the nearest rest area or layby if possible.

“If you have no choice but to stop on the emergency lane, it is important to put on the hazard lights to warn oncoming vehicles and get all passengers to leave the car and stay behind the guardrails on the road shoulder.

“Place devices such as safety cones, warning triangles, flashing beacons or at least a red flag or cloth at a good and safe distance behind the stranded vehicle to alert other oncoming vehicles of the situation,” said the website.

Mufors is a movement spearheaded by PLUS.

The website also warned motorists to put on the indicator before changing lanes, to never jump queue by using the emergency lane and to refrain from using handphones while driving.

It also urged them to take a break at the rest areas and laybys when feeling tired and not to tailgate or hog the road.

Mufors also recommended some safety checks that motorists could carry out themselves before hitting the highway, including ensuring the tyres were in good condition and that there was no rubbish such as water bottles that could roll under the brake pedal.

Most importantly, it said people should make sure that everyone in the car was properly buckled up before starting the journey.

In case of any emergency on the highway, contact PLUSLine at 1800-88-0000.