Water-filled barriers: Boon or bane?
KUCHING: The red, white or orange plastic barricades, or commonly known as waterfilled barriers, which are intended for safety enhancement in construction areas can be dangerous if they were not used correctly and properly.
Bear in mind that attitude of discourteous and indifferent motorists can make a bad situation worse.
The stretch at Mile 13 KuchingSerian road is temporarily affected by an on-going construction work to widen the road and ease traffic flow. The water- filled barriers used either to redirect, separate or delineate traffic, protect pedestrians, provide visibility presence or for other safety purposes can be seen placed along the stretch.
A resident of the area, Ralph Balan, who plies the route to and fro Kuching daily, said the waterfilled barriers were a necessity as well as a problem because they could move if they were not properly weighted down.
“They are a great hazard to road users because many are known to have ‘occupied’ half of the road,” he told The Bormeo Post via email yesterday.
Ralph shared his nightmare driving along the stretch Tuesday evening, which was made worse due to a heavy downpour and a crawling traffic.
“Initially, I thought the traffic was moving slowly because of the rain, but as I drove along, the cause of the slow traffic flow was due to the water barrier fences which occupied about half of the road.
“For a regular road user who is familiar with that section of the road, I was able to navigate around the barriers safely (at snail’s pace unfortunately). I just hope that other drivers who rarely use that part of the road to be aware of the issue, especially during a heavy downpour and low visibility.
“I understand the necessity for those barriers and for the road construction, but is it done in a proper manner? I hope there are scheduled safety checks conducted from time-to-time.
“I believe Welfield Services Sdn Bhd (WSSB) is the main contractor working on this section of the road. Sadly, I was not able to call them because they do not have a hotline and an office number in the website.”
Ralph called TaliKhidmat but doubted if they could act on the situation but a complaint has been fi led with photos as evidence.
“I hope the management of Pan Borneo Highway and WSSB will seriously take action on this and for the relevant government departments and agencies to monitor. This is a genuinely dangerous road condition and a big risk to all road users,” he said.
A complaint was also forwarded to Padawan Municipal Council ( PMC) chairman Lo Khere Chiang, Welfield Services Sdn Bhd, Lebuhraya Borneo Utara, Works Ministry and Public Works Department, he added.
Meanwhile, Lebuhraya Borneo Utara in their email reply clarified that the section of road affected by the construction work was not under their nor their contractors’ purview.
The LBU’s section for the Kuching- Serian road stretch is between Mile 6 and 10, and from Serian roundabout to Pantu.
Lo meanwhile could not be reached for his comments yesterday.
The 86ixers motto, as their president Joseph Lau (fifth from left) hands over the banners for Friday night’s event to Tiong (seventh from left) one of the proprietors of 101 Café who is also a former Sacred Heart student.
(From left) Moh, Ho and Lau with the prizes they won in a public speaking contest.