By TERRENCE SIAMBUN
LETTER: The absence of street lights along the multi-million Donggongon to Kinarut sector of the Pan Borneo Highway has raised concerns among road users particularly those residing along this stretch of road.
Numerous complaints have been received by both, the Penampang Member of Parliament, Darell Leiking and myself, ever since the Barisan Nasional government’s mega project for Sabah and Sarawak, opened for use few months ago.
This prompts me (as I am in the dark) to query the Penampang District Council (PDC) as to whether they have any plan to install the necessary street lights.
I acknowledge public complaints that there is no sign of street light going to be made available along the stretch of some 6 kilometres. I was given to understand that the Public of Works (PWD) will hand over the road to PDC after the completion of this project.
The PDC owes it to all residents of Penampang, as well as motorists playing this stretch of the highway, to explain when street light will be installed, if ever. Many accidents have taken place of late with a number of fatalities. Most of the accidents occur at night. Until when do the people have to wait for the streets to be lighted up.
Although street lighting comes under the purview of the PDC, as of to date, there is no sign that they will install the much needed lamp posts. I have been told that lighting will only be provided before and after traffic lights installations.
To quote a motorist and resident of Maang – “the experience of driving from Donggongon to Maang at night time is simply scary.” Most motorists opt to put on their high beam lights due to poor visibility. When it rains, it can only become worse. Being temporarily blinded is perhaps the main cause of the fatal accidents near Hubah recently.
I also agree with the statement made by Leiking that the PWD and local authorities must reconsider the road design during planning so that road users are not victimised. His contention as to why the traffics lights are not located at a more strategic location, such as the junction entering to Limbanak where there are primary and secondary schools, is most valid.
As a matter of fact, Maang residents need to make big U-turn, more than 1km from the junction to send their children to school. I think the Ramayah traffic light is not as necessary or a priority when compared to the Limbanak junction. It would be good to have both though.
The local authorities and PWD have a lot to explain, but more important is what steps will they take to rectify the weaknesses so as to make the highway safer for all of us.
- Terrence Siambun is the State Assemblyman for Moyog and Parti Warisan Sabah treasurer