KUCHING: Heavy vehicles will be banned from the road on certain days during the 19th edition of Ops Sikap from Jan 19 to Feb 2 to coincide with the Chinese New Year.
Director of the state Road Transport Department, Abdul Hamed Akob, said the ban, the first time it is implemented in Sarawak, will be enforced on Jan 24 and 25, Jan 31 and Feb 1.
“Such ban has been implemented in Peninsular Malaysia before due to the huge volume of traffic in the run-up to major festivals, but in Sarawak, this is the first,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
He said the level of restriction given on the stipulated days depended on the category the heavy vehicles came under.
Lorries that carry timber, cement, steel, iron, rocks, sand and earth, concrete mixers, heavy machinery like crane, and low loader come under Category 1. They are totally banned.
Containers and lorries carrying electronic and electrical goods and those travelling from ports to the airport both of which are in completely different zones, come under Category 2. They are allowed to be on the road from 6am to midnight.
There is no restriction for gas and chemical lorries, containers and cargo lorries to and fro airport, and also between ports and airports in the same zone, lorries carrying essential goods like food, vegetables, retail products, newspapers and livestock, waste disposal trucks, small lorries weighing 5,000kg and below, cargo and container trucks travelling from port to factories within industrial zones, petroleum, diesel, gas and LPG tankers and heavy vehicles involved in rescue operations.
The JPJ would also be keeping close watch on lorries that overload.
Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication Lee Kim Shin will launch the state-level 19th Ops Sikap in Miri today. JPJ has assigned 160 personnel for the specific operation.
Hamed meanwhile said that beginning today, vehicles spotted with ‘xenon’ or HID lights would be issued RM300-compound whereas those who failed to comply with the tint rule would be issued RM200-compound. Vehicles are allowed 30 per cent tint for the front screen and windows, and 50 per cent tint on the rear screen and windows.
Hamed said they now had seven units of new equipment to enable their personnel to check the level of tint in all kinds of weather.
On rear-seat belts, he said the state JPJ had issued 301 compounds of RM300 each in the first 12 days of the year to those who failed to comply with the rule.
He said that during this (19th) operation, JPJ would place its personnel incognito-style in certain locations to nab those who disregard the basic traffic rules like beating the traffic lights, driving in emergency lanes when it isn’t an emergency, overtaking on double lines, driving while on the mobile phone, and jumping queues.
Ops Sikap would also take note of motorcyclists who break the laws like not wearing crash helmets, beating traffic lights, weaving in and out of traffic and those taking part in illegal racing.
He said the operation would be conducted from 7am till midnight.
The JPJ would also station its personnel at major bus terminals in Kuching, Sibu and Miri to monitor the bus companies. Among others, the personnel would check the bus logbooks to see if the drivers were behind the wheel for more than eight hours, to ensure there is no hike in ticket prices, and also take note of public complaints.
Hamed said they would be working closely with the Road Safety Council and the police during the operation to eliminate any overlapping, and to ensure efficiency. The JPJ control office would open round-the-clock during the operation.