Friday, March 11, 2011


KUCHING – Keadilan Women’s Wing National Vice Chairwoman Voon Shiak Ni calls on the BN government to immediately upgrade the safety of public roads in Sarawak to reduce the risks of road users and number of accidents on public roads.

Voon, also the legal advisor of the state women’s wing and vice chairwoman of Stampin division pointed out that the safety features such as road signs, cat’s eyes, reflective boards etc are lacking and these compromised the safety of road-users.

“Even though the poor attitude and negligence of some drivers may contribute to road accidents, the safety features and fittings on the public roads are important particularly when it rains and the visibility is reduced.”

She added that along the public roads from Sematan to Lawas, it is noted that most stretches of the roads do not have street lightings. Even those roads close to towns and cities, such as Jalan Bau, Matang-Batu Kawah, Batu Kawah-Bau, Jalan Datuk Stephen Yong, Muara Tuang, 10th to 15th Mile Jalan Penrissen, etc which are increasingly populated with new housing estates, the lightings on these roads are found lacking and insufficient.”

“This is obviously caused by the lack of long term planning, and poor maintenance and upgrading through the years.”

There is a lot of accidents along the area, she added. “Besides inculcating road safety awareness with the drivers and all road-users, the provision of safety features and fittings plays a crucial role in the protection of lives and properties.”

From surveys and studies shown sufficient lightings on roads can effectively cut down 43% of road accidents at night, and reduce the incidence of serious or fatal accident to one-third,” said voon.

“The BN government should seriously look into this and allocate more of the state’s budget to immediately install road safety features particularly lightings,” she said. A lot public funds have been expended into unnecessary “white elephant” projects, and such basic infrastructural development projects such as road safety features and fittings are regrettably neglected, she said.

The Bau road which is a stretch of 20 miles, most portions of it remained as it was for the last forty years, single-lane, no street lighting, lacking in safety road-guards, reflective safety and warning road signs. The stretch of road is full of traps, and accident prone at night-time especially when it rains.

“To upgrade the Bau road into a 2-lane highway is long overdue,” she emphasized, “the neglect by the BN government is contemptuous and disdainful. The coming state election will be an opportune time for the voters in Bau to voice their discontent over such neglect and indifference of the present elected representatives and the state government.”

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