More effective alert on 'Smartlanes' needed at highways, says Ahmad Maslan

MUAR: All highway operators need to establish a more effective "Smartlane" notification system to reduce traffic congestion, especially during festive seasons.

Deputy Works Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the move is to ensure users are not confused with the extra lane on the extreme left lane of the highways involved.

He said, for example in Johor, Plus Malaysia Berhad (PLUS) has a number of emergency lanes that were made into "smartlanes" including the Dato' Onn Section to Pasir Gudang and the Senai Section to Kulai in the North and South.

"During the recent Chinese New Year, the 'Smartlane' was opened from 8am to 6pm, but many highway users were not aware so there was confusion between motorcyclists and other users.

"I also advise that this emergency route is not exclusive to certain vehicles, but it can be used by motorcycles, damaged vehicles, rescue operations and also as 'Smartlane' at certain times include festivals," he told reporters after a working visit to the Pagoh Toll Plaza Operations Office of the North-South Expressway, Pagoh here on Friday (Feb 23).

According to Ahmad, "Smartlanes" were necessary especially during the festive season because 2.04 million vehicles were recorded using highways on Feb 8 and that figure was the highest for this year.

Meanwhile, he said the Works Ministry supports the efforts of 33 highway concession holders in the country to add EV charging stations and apply the use of solar energy in rest areas.

He said so far there are 32 EV charging stations on all highways and there will be an addition of 30 more stations in the near future.

"Efforts to upgrade various facilities in order to provide comfort to highway users are now actively being carried out as no maintenance work was carried out during the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) to curb Covid-19," he said.
Autos News