At yesterday’s vehicle handover ceremony where the Road Transport Department (JPJ) received 10 units of the Honda CR-V 2.0L from PLUS Malaysia for use as enforcement vehicles, the highway concessionaire announced that it is currently funding the installation of 11 additional AWAS cameras at accident-prone areas along the North-South Expressway (NSE), and this is set to take place in the next few months.

“The presence of authorities on the highways was able to reduce traffic offences such as the misuse of emergency lanes, reckless driving and speeding,” said PLUS MD Datuk Azman Ismail. Last month, the government said it planned to increase the number of Automated Awareness Safety System (AWAS) cameras at accident-prone locations.

Collaborations between PLUS and JPJ as well as with other enforcement agencies and road safety initiatives by PLUS have seen a ‘significant reduction’ in accidents along the NSE, PLUS said. In 2016, 14,532 accident cases were reported, but this dropped to 13,269 cases last year. PLUS’ records and research show that 80% of all accidents which take place on highways result from human factors such as speeding.

The initial cost of RM3 million for the installation of the AWAS cameras as well as the associated subsequent expenditure will be absorbed by PLUS, while enforcement will continue to be the duty of JPJ. The locations of the new AWAS cameras will be decided upon after collaborative research involving PLUS and the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (MIROS), which is expected to be finalised this year.

For now, 19 AWAS cameras have been installed along the PLUS highway, and certain areas will receive attention first, such as the stretch near the Menora Tunnel in Ipoh which has been accident-prone, said deputy transport minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar.