KUALA LUMPUR: The ban on heavy vehicles has reduced the number of accidents and deaths on the road during Chinese New Year. And traffic on the highways was smoother with less congestion.
“The ban has helped tremendously,” Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said after the New Year open house at Wisma MCA on the first day of Chinese New Year.
“I think taking away heavy vehicles has helped to reduce congestion. Motorists were a lot happier.”
He also said he wanted to thank lorry operators for sacrificing their business for the two days before and after the festive period.
“They have saved lives.”
Chan said traffic deaths have been below average, about five to seven a day, since Ops Sikap 16 started last Monday, adding that he hoped motorists would co-operate so that this could be maintained or improved until the end of the festive road safety operation on Feb 14.
The biggest cause of accidents was human error, said to cause 69 per cent of traffic deaths each year, he said.
This year, there were fewer traffic accidents and deaths than last year on the first day of Chinese New Year.
Sixteen people died on Thursday, while 22 were killed last year.
There were 902 accidents this year compared with 1,178 last year.
However, on Wednesday, the eve of Chinese New Year, twice as many people died this year compared with last year.
A total of 26 people lost their lives this year.
There were 1,162 accidents reported, while on Tuesday, 1,141 accidents occurred.
Federal Traffic Police Chief Datuk Hamza Taib said of the 16 who died on Thursday, the eighth day of Ops Sikap, 12 were motorcyclists, three were in cars, and one was a pedestrian.
Hamza also said of the 902 crashes on Thursday, 597 occurred on federal and municipal roads.
He said 8,726 summonses were issued Thursday, and, 10,203 on the eve of Chinese New Year.
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