1. Last week I got this email and found it quite interesting fact about our new upgraded PLUS highway. To be truth, I experienced the uncomfortable feeling too, driving at stated upgraded highway and when I checked our crash database, for some reason many fatal accidents occured along this stretch (approximately Rawang - Tapah) after the new 3-lane-highway opened up. Here is the email I got, I think its quite good to share.
I am a frequent user of our North-South Expressway and I have this IMPORTANT experience to highlight and share:-
I was driving back to Penang yesterday afternoon (24 June 08) when I saw the unfortunate accident in the opposite direction involving the passenger bus that skidded and overturned at Tanjung Malim. I didn't know that the skidded bus was from hometown Penang untill I watched TV3 news later in the evening and was shocked to learn that the accident took two lives.
Now, this is what I need to share:-
I am a building contractor with over twenty years of experience and I have been driving my 5 series BMW (latest generation and a dammed solid road holding car) each time
I travelled to KL. Lately, the new extended 3 lanes highway had been opened up for use and since then, I have also been using it quite oftenly.
HOWEVER, when I used it each time it is WET, I can really 'feel' that the new road surface is extremely SLIPPERY! To share with some of you, my car comes with a built-in traction control mechanism (skidding prevention mechanism) and you can feel it each time it is activated. Previously, I don't come across this kind of slippery feel except when I drive over a paddle of water at certain speed.
From my observation as a building contractor, the 'wearing course' of the new road surface could be TOO FINE OR TOO SMOOTH and TOTALLY UNSUITABLE for highway use!
The wearing course (top premix layer) mix design for highways should be of minimum 20mm coarse aggregate mix that will give us the required bond between the surface and our tyres. Fine wearing course (14mm coarse aggregate size and below) is only suitable for normal road. (A proper test need to be carried out to determine the mix design of the wearing course).
Since the opening of the three lanes highway, I had seen cars skidding in front me or in the opposite direction and approximately 2 weeks ago, one of my friends who is also a frequent user of our NSE, came to share with me about his slippery feeling as well as the many skidded cars he had seen lately.
I am highlighting this to TV3 and The Star with the hope that a thourough investigation could be carried out immediately to find out how or what causes the bus to skid. A proper and independent test need to be carried out urgently to determine the design mix of the wearing course. THIS CAN SAVE LIVES.
2. Here is the Youtube link that justified about the technology he talked about in the email. From now on, I'll not driving fast at the stretch, especially during wet time and I hope you will do the same. And dont forget to tell your friend and family about this.
3. This is the event when the make of highway involved lots of bribes and such. When the accident occur, people might blame thats the driver's fault, but actually it is not 100% true.
4. The fault is big portionly thanks to the maker of the highway and the people who involve in the build. "I want to get this contract", "Give me 10%", "Ok, you got it", "Hey I wont approve the project, but 5% will do it", "Ok, you got it"..the contractor is then calculating, "Damn, I wont make any profit at this rate, I'll use crappy materials, so that I can profit too" This is how the tragedy begins..
5. Its kinda unfair if just blaming without suggesting any improvement. For my opinion, to remake or redo the badly made highway will of course eating a lot of efforts and money.
6. So that is definitely not the best solution. Since this problem frequently happening during raining/wet time, so it is best if the authorities could make something like signage on this problematic stretch. The signage must be visible during the heavy rain and must be made as frequent as possible. Such as "Be Careful during the rain", "Speed up, and your life will be sped up too" and such.
7. Huhu I think languange people is better on this. But the point is put signages as many as we can on this strecth so that people will know. And of course, after 10 years time, hopefully there is no such thing as bribe or misconduct of power during highway remade..
Don't you agree? Feel free to add and comments..