Friday, April 13, 2007

Upgrade killer stretch


MOTORISTS in Penang who use Jalan Tun Sardon in Balik Pulau daily to get to work have appealed to the authorities to upgrade the road, especially at KM5.4 which has been dubbed a killer stretch.

At least five accidents have been reported along the stretch over the last two months, including a fatal case involving a motorcyclist last month.

“I feel like I am gambling with my life every time I navigate through the winding, inclined stretch. A wrong judgment or turn could have a drastic impact,” said Magnum Ooh, a 35-year-old insurance agent.

“Just a few weeks ago, a motorcycle collided with a car and both crashed into a guardrail before plunging into the ravine. It was reported that the motorcyclist was killed,” he added.

Thousands of motorists from Balik Pulau and Paya Terubong use the road daily to get to the Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone, Penang Bridge or town.

Balik Pulau resident, Tan Jit Keong, 41, urged the Penang Municipal Council to take measures to ensure the safety of road users.

“Those who are not familiar with the stretch may face some difficulty upon reaching the sharp bend. It will be even more dangerous if they speed,” he noted.

Batu Uban assemblyman Goh Kheng Sneah who inspected the site yesterday called on the Penang Municipal Council and Public Works Department (JKR) to give a special allocation of RM200,000 to upgrade the stretch.

“It is necessary to widen and straighten the stretch as it poses a danger to road users,” he said.

“Even Chief Minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon has expressed concern.”

Councillor Dr Thor Teong Gee, who was also present, said the council had instructed its engineering department to conduct a study on how to improve road safety there.

“The council’s engineering department will conduct a comprehensive study with JKR on upgrading the stretch of road,” he said, adding that temporary measures to prevent accidents included installing extra guardrails and reflectors.

SOURCE: The Star Malaysia @

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