Improve motorcycle lanes

TOLL operators need to responsibly improve motorcycle lanes.

It has been indicated PLUS, the operator of the North-South Expressway, is in for what seems like another windfall, with the government planning to pay "PLUS Malaysia Bhd RM2.2 billion in compensation for removing toll collections at the Federal Highway and Bukit Kayu Hitam".

After all these years of giving oranges and bottled drinks at toll gateways during festivals, the toll operator is set to get away with sheer negligence over the safety and convenience of motorcyclists.

It is most appalling to review the state of the roadways being provided and maintained by PLUS when it comes to motorcyclists.

Not only are these roads, or rather lanes, narrow by any standard and poorly maintained, they are definitely lacking in safety. The potholes, poorly gravelled tarmac and the unlighted lanes that motorcyclists must take when approaching the toll gates should be questioned by the government before tax payers' money is paid out to the company.

All these years there was no one from the hallways of government who ventured to champion the plight of motorcyclists who risked limb and machine riding in the rain and nightfall on these neglected lanes on the sprawling highways.

As more and more Malaysians choose to own bigger riding machines, the outdated and ignored lanes are a serious hazard to the lives of these motorcyclists.

Hopefully the operators will admit that doing their version of corporate social responsibility through events such as discounts on tolls or handing out oranges at the advent of festivals does not absolve them of their obligations and categorical duty to ensure safety and care for motorcyclists on the road.

Meanwhile, the government must demand, on behalf of the voiceless citizens who ply the kilometres of lanes, that PLUS ensure these lanes are broadened, improved and maintained to satisfactory safety standards in view of the increasing number of motorcyclists plying the routes each year.

J. D. Lovremciear
Kuala Lumpur