OUTSIDE almost all schools in the Klang Valley, cars parked and double-parked by the roadside before and after school hours are a common sight.
The SJK (C) Han Ming at Kampung Baru Batu 14 in Puchong has not been spared such a scenario, and residents in the surrounding areas are obviously upset with the chaotic traffic situation.
It is especially bad when some inconsiderate parents and school bus drivers dropping off or picking up students simply park their vehicles anyway they like, blocking motorists using the road.
According to Lakhvir Singh, who uses the road in front of the school to get to work and return home, the vehicles are double-parked on both sides, leaving little space for other cars to squeeze through.
Lakhvir said that such a situation had often resulted in a massive congestion at the stretch of road, as moving cars had to slowly inch their way through.
“I see many private MPVs waiting in a long line to pick up students. Do they actually have permits for this?” he asked.
“There are many heavy vehicles like trucks, tankers, and trailers using the road and they are unable to pass through. This has created a bit of havoc and traffic jam,” Lakhvir said.
The 63-year-old security guard said that every morning between 7am and 7.30am, afternoon between 12.30pm to 1.30pm, and evening from 6pm to 7pm, the road will be congested. These are the times students are being dropped off or picked up.
“There are also children crossing the road and I’m concerned about their safety, with so many vehicles around the area,” Lakhvir said.
“Moreover, this area is not well-lit so this poses a safety risk. I have told the school about the matter but the school authorities could not do much as the situation is outside the school area,” he said.
“When I wrote to the authorities, there was no reply,” Lakhvir said, adding that he had witnessed a few near misses in the mornings.
He uses the road as a alternative route to get back to his home in Bandar Bukit Puchong.
School principal Cheong Shiu Thin, when contacted, said the school had its own wardens to guide pupils across the road safely.
According to Cheong, the wardens are mainly the school workers who are paid to perform the extra duty. The teachers also take turns to take care of the students waiting to be picked up.
“The school workers and some teachers had attended a traffic control course last year,” she said.
The wardens wear the orange vests provided by the Selangor Road Safety Department.
Cheong said the school had also written to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to request for zebra crossings outside the school and extra street lighting, but there was no reply.
“We can only look after children within our school compound. The traffic outside is beyond our control,” she said.
“There are also some inconsiderate parents who make U-turns on the two-way road after picking up their children, thus contributing to the traffic chaos,” she said.
“Actually, there are the row of shops opposite our school and empty parking spaces further away for waiting parents to park, but many do not want to walk that far,” Cheong said.
She said at one time, there was a signboard put up by the local authorities indicating when heavy vehicles would not be allowed to use the road but there was no enforcement on the ban.
Cheong is not sure when or who had removed the signboard.
On the MPVs allegedly being used as illegal school buses, Cheong said the school authorities had no say or control on the matter as it was a private arrangement between the parents and the MPV owners.
The school’s Parents-Teacher Association (PTA) chairman Wong Kok Pin said other schools also had private MPVs to ferry children to and from school.
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