January 29, 2019
It’s that time of the year again, where many of us head back to our respective ‘kampungs’ for Chinese New Year. Hitting the road at an ungodly hour is the normal practice and getting stuck in traffic tests your patience and concentration.
The good news this year is that PLUS will be opening the emergency lane along two critical stretches of the North–South Expressway for Chinese New Year travel. The bad news is the Police will be issuing on-the-spot summons of RM300 to road users who commit one of six major offences during the 2019 Op Selamat.
Ops Selamat (Operation Safe) (formerly Ops Sikap (Operation Attitude) and Ops Statik) is a traffic safety operation carried out by the Royal Malaysian Police to ensure safety on all roads in Malaysia during festive seasons such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali, Christmas Day and Chinese New Year.
As a greater number of cars are expected to populate the roads, so does a greater risk for accidents to happen. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe on the road for Chinese New Year.
On average, 562 pedestrians die annually in traffic accidents every year here in Malaysia. The deaths are caused by hit-and-run accidents, jaywalking, crossing busy roads, and dangerous driving. While you can argue that the pedestrian can be at fault in these accidents, especially if they jaywalk or cross busy roads, you can still prevent fatal accidents by driving at a safe speed especially in urban areas.
You may be rushing home to get back to work after the holidays even after you haven’t had enough sleep after all the festivities. If you can, have another driver as backup so that he can replace you if you’re feeling sleepy on the road.
If you suddenly find yourself feeling very sleepy on the road, take the time to rest or sleep in your car until you’ve had enough rest and you feel you can drive safely again. It’s better to be late or to be absent from work than to get into an accident.
From turn signals to brake lights, make sure that these are all working before you go on a long drive. Check your brakes and your headlights too before you get on the road. Bald tires need to be replaced as these don’t have as much grip on the road especially when the road is wet.
The upcoming Chinese New Year should be a time to enjoy the holiday with friends and family. It can mean driving long distances to reunite with loved ones but before you get in that car, please remember to drive safely. And remember to keep a petrol credit card in your wallet to get more rewards when you gas up at your favorite petrol service station. Have a smooth trip ahead!
(Video courtesy of BRIGHT SIDE YouTube Channel)