The relevant authorities have been urged to act on the overloaded lorries plying Jalan Samarakan in Tatau as these heavy vehicles are badly damaging the road and posing danger to other road users.
Assistant Minister for Arts and Culture Datuk John Sikie Tayai in making the call yesterday, lamented that the road was riddled with potholes which were not easily visible at night and on rainy days.
He also voiced concern over the anticipated surge in traffic volume along that stretch of road as people return to their respective home towns for the Christmas holiday and urged the relevant authorities to speedily improve the road’s condition.
“Jalan Samarakan in Tatau has been badly damaged because of the heavy and overloaded trucks carrying logs and also overloaded lorries carrying sand from Kuala Kelebu in Tatau to Bintulu.
“The road is very dangerous, especially for cars as it is filled with potholes all along the way. The situation is worse during night time as the potholes are not visible since there is no streetlighting along the pitch black road.
“Similarly, during rainy days, these potholes are filled with water, making them not easily visible to the naked eye,” Sikie, who is Kakus assemblyman told The Borneo Post.
Therefore, his hope was for the authorities concerned to take action against the overloaded heavy vehicles in the interests of public safety.
“Additionally, to repair the damaged portions of the road as soon as possible, especially with Christmas coming when there are a lot of people coming home for the celebration,” Sikie, who is also Assistant Minister for Native Laws and Customs, pointed out.
When contacted yesterday, state Road Transport Department (JPJ) assistant director (Enforcement) Albert Clement, said their enforcement unit in Bintulu was now looking into the complaint on overloaded lorries plying Jalan Samarakan.
Among others, he recalled that a team from JPJ Bintulu had carried out an operation along Tatau Road on Nov 29.
“They did a road block at Tatau Road. A total of 26 summonses were issued on various (traffic) offences, while 11 notices were also issued to vehicle owners to restore their vehicles to the original condition,” Albert disclosed.
He cautioned that action could be taken under Section 19 (1)(b) Overloading under the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Act 1987, where an offender is liable to a fine of not less than RM1,000 and not more than RM10,000 besides Rules 92 (1) under Road Transport Act 1987.
He added that offenders could be compounded to a maximum of RM300.
Pertaining to dangerous loading offences, Albert said offenders could be charged under Road Transport Rules where the maximum compound was RM300.
Meanwhile, JPJ had swiftly acted on complaints to take action against overloaded lorries along the old Bau Road early last month.
This followed complaints by Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh to the relevant authorities to take action against overloaded lorries at old Bau Road.
Miro had said that heavy vehicles, mostly those overloaded with quarry stones, were the main culprits behind damage to the road, and suggested that the police and state JPJ step up enforcement to rid the road of overloaded lorries.
Miro had also lamented that overloaded vehicles were negatively impacting economic growth because as the load increased, the damage to the road also worsened, resulting in higher maintenance and repair costs and shortening the lifespan of the road.
Source : Peter Boon@The Borneo Post Online