BUKIT MERTAJAM, Jan 20 — Penang police expect more than 2.4 million vehicles to enter the state in conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration, said its police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain.
He said on average on normal days 200,000 to 300,000 vehicles enter and exit the state daily.
“Since yesterday, several locations in Penang have begun to be congested with vehicles as people are returning to celebrate Chinese New Year as well as taking advantage of the long holiday weekend. More than 2.4 million vehicles are expected to enter the state (during the Chinese New Year).
“Police expect increasing traffic congestion from today as people return to their respective hometowns, and I urge the public to observe the rules as well as to be more careful when driving,” Mohd Shuhaily told reporters here today after an Op Selamat Walkabout and Advocacy event in conjunction with Chinese New Year at the Taman Selamat public market here.
Also present at the event was Machang Bubok state assemblyman Lee Khai Loon.
Meanwhile, the police chief said his team has identified seven roads choked with cars and hot spots for road accidents, and the police will increase monitoring and patrolling in these areas.
These roads include Jalan Teluk Air Tawar-Jalan Bagan Luar, Jalan Perusahaan Perai-Jalan Kulim, Jalan Besar Simpang Empat, Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu/Jalan Ayer Itam, Jalan Ayer Itam/Paya Terubong, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah and Jalan Tun Dr Awang.
“The focus of Op Selamat this time is to ensure smooth traffic flow by reducing accidents and educating road users to be more prudent,” he said.
The Penang Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department also reintroduced Op Payung, which focuses on the ‘omnipresence’ of police personnel to provide immediate response and assistance to accidents that occur in ‘black spot’ areas.
“Op Payung will be held in each district and the focus is on the ‘black spot’ areas namely Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, Jalan Teluk Air Tawar, Jalan Baru Perai, Jalan Bukit Tambun and Jalan Mayang Pasir,” Mohd Shuhaily added.