Balik Kampung, Balik Bandar!POSTED BY Kaynis Chong ON 14 June 2019
#motorme #coty #yamin
Three tips you can consider for your next Balik Kampung holiday road trip.
1. Plan journey both ways. For some of us, we’re so focused on avoiding the jam on the drive from the city back to the hometown that we don’t give enough time to plan about the return journey.
2. Consult the PLUS Travel Time Advisory (leave before 10am) and plan accordingly. Even though the TTA is absolutely predictable, it’s still broadly a powerful time model.
3. Plan toilet breaks. This can range from drinking less water to avoiding the Rest Service Areas to exiting to a favourably located town for a rest and service.
4. Enter the hotlines of JPJ and Polis into your contact list and inform them of unnecessary obstructions to traffic. Send them photos and videos with your smartphone.
It’s good to be flexible like Hafiz who works in PJ and who takes his family for the three-hour drive to Kluang, Johore, to celebrate Hari Raya. On Thursday, the second day of Raya, they set off at 2pm for the drive to KL via Muar and Malacca to visit relatives.
“From Malacca, I headed for the North-South highway via Alor Gajah but when I got caught in the long tailback, I made a U-turn at the Alor Gajah roundabout. Then I had dinner and hung about until about midnight. By that time, the highway was clearer.
But sometimes, traffic jams can be avoided. For instance, highway concessionaires will suspend road maintenance during the festive season to minimize impedance to smooth traffic.
There is also a suggestion by a colleague Azman Ujang who editorialized in theSundaily that PLUS should close the Rest Stop Areas (RSA) during big festive seasons. He argues that the RSA’s are so popular that the car park is full and incoming cars tailback into the highway and obstruct traffic.
A motorist complained in a letter published in one of the dailies that there was no place for a toilet break and he had to stop along the highway so that his wife could relieve herself. He said that there were at least 50 other cars with passengers who relieved themselves by the highway.
Perhaps what PLUS could do would be to use its variable message boards to inform highway users about the status of each approaching RSA. This would give the choice to motorists: whether to exit before the RSA or to exit to a town.
If you notice, the RSA’s are always located a few kilometres before an exit, so updating the status of approaching RSA’s via variable message boards is a viable option.
Similarly, we trust that the uniformed services will plan their festive season operations in such a way that where traffic is moving at a snail pace traffic, they should not aggravate the situation with unnecessary actions.
Even with the best intentions of the national level officers, unanticipated acts of individuals at the state level can cause havoc to innocent road users.
Johari Latiff from Gua Musang Whatsapp me:
“On Monday 10 June, JPJ put up a roadblock for both sides of the traffic in front of its station at Tanah Putih about one kilometre south of my house near the Gua Musang Bus terminal.
“It resulted in the traffic backing up all the way to Pulau Chondong, resulting in a typical journey from Kota Bahru to Gua Musang normally taking 3 hours to take 12.
“From Gua Musang to KL, a journey normally taking four hours got stretched to over 10 hours. At 4.30 am I sent my wife to work (Hentian Gua Musang) and it was still bumper to bumper but at least moving.
“I wonder if it was worth inconveniencing so many thousands for whatever summonses they achieved. Instead of road safety, they created worse driving conditions,” he complained.
I asked some JPJ officers about this and they were equally indignant. “We have a standard operating procedure that if a roadblock causes an unreasonable delay, we will suspend or stand down the action.
“If there is such an unreasonable roadblock, you have to use your smartphone and send video or photos and details of when and where is the roadblock to our hotline,” said one of the JPJ officers.
Save this in your smartphone: [email protected]
Festive season hotline: 03-8886 6412