Motorists treat loop system as race track

By Anith Adilah and Murali Arumugam

PETALING JAYA, March 27 — The implementation of the one-way loop (OWL) traffic system here has given rise to another social evil — speeding.

PJ city councillors said the OWL traffic system had improved traffic flow along the ring road but spurred a situation akin to a race track.

City councillor Lim Yi Wei said the traffic system encouraged speeding.

“The only issue that people are concerned about is that the one-way traffic system allows vehicles to speed,” she said.

Lim said the city council recently erected temporary dividers along Jalan Timur to deter drivers coming from the Federal Highway to weave into the Amcorp Mall junction.

“Last month, the council’s engineering department put in temporary dividers, based on the road safety audit consultant’s recommendations, along Jalan Timur,” she said.

“After taking into consideration the residents’ objections, we decided to install more speed-breakers and signages warning motorists.” 

Concerned Residents of Section 14 president Kok Keng Teng said motorists took advantage of the OWL’s design to drive above the approved speed limit of 60kmph. 

“I noticed many cars like to speed when the roads are empty at night. There are many children and pedestrians from neighbouring residential areas who use the roads as well. It is worrying,” he said.

Another resident, Mak Khuin Weng, who previously was vocal against implementation of the road system, said he was not surprised to see motorists abusing the it because of its design.

“The roads are designed to have five or six lanes, making it easy for motorists to speed when there are fewer vehicles on the road,” he said. 

“Although the roads appear to be in a business district, it actually cuts through several residential areas.

“When cars speed on the road, they do not only pose danger to the residents but also cause noise pollution. The residents’ rights are being sidestepped here.”

Zone 12 councillor Derek Fernandez said the traffic system could be improved. 

“The traffic design has created a highway rather than a ring road for traffic dispersal. The design was based on a concept of longer distance and shorter times,” he said.  

“It achieved its target of easing the traffic flow but this means vehicles are travelling at higher speeds. The cars are speeding as a direct result of the design.” 

Fernandez suggested setting up Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras to deter motorists from flouting the law. 

“Not everyone might agree but an AES camera would be ideal for tackling the problem of drivers breaking the speed limit,” he said.