Saturday February 16, 2013
Pagoh-Simpang Ampat stretch a thieving hotspot
PETALING JAYA: The stretch between Pagoh and Simpang Ampat is the biggest “hot spot” for vandalism on the North-South Expressway.
According to PLUS chief operating officer Mohammad Fuad Khusairi, there had been 1,205 cases of vandalism on that stretch alone over the past two years.
This, he said, was followed by the stretch from Alor Setar Selatan to Sungai Petani Selatan, which had 862 cases and from Bidor to Ipoh which had 805 cases.
Last year alone, he said, PLUS had carried out 4,666 repair and maintenance works due to vandalism and theft on the highways.
“Most of the time, the vandals cut the fencing to gain easy access to the highways and to avoid paying the toll,” he said, adding that vandals also defaced signboards and damaged facilities such as the public toilets and the emergency telephones along these stretches.
The most targeted items by thieves, he said, were the fencing, guardrails, drain and manhole covers as well as the signboards.
Mohammad Fuad said PLUS conducted dialogues, regular meetings and awareness programmes with the surrounding communities to educate them on the negative implications of vandalism and how it directly impacted the safety of highway users.
“We have set up a 24-hour patrol at the vandalism and theft-prone areas,” he said, adding that three individuals had been detained and prosecuted for vandalism on the highways last year.
He urged road users to immediately alert PLUS on its hotline if they witness any suspicious behaviour on the highways.