LETTER | It has been indicated that the Plus operator of the North-South highway is in for a what seems like another windfall, with the government planning to pay Plus Malaysia Bhd RM2.2 billion in compensation for removing toll collections at the federal highway and Bukit Kayu Hitam.
After all these years of giving oranges and bottled water at the toll gateways on some festival dates, the toll operator is set to get away with sheer negligence over the safety and convenience of motorcyclists.
It is appalling to note the state of the roadways provided and maintained by Plus when it comes to motorcyclists.
Not only are these roads - or rather lanes - narrow by any standard and poorly maintained, they are lacking in safety. The potholes, badly gravelled tarmac and the unlighted lanes that motorcyclists must take when approaching the toll gates should be questioned by the government before taxpayers money are paid out to the company.
All these years, none from the hallways of government have ventured to champion the plight of motorcyclists, who risk limb and machine in the rain and at nightfall riding on these neglected lanes on the highways.
As more and more Malaysians choose to own bigger riding machines, these outdated and ignored lanes are a serious hazard to users' lives.
Hopefully, the operators will admit that doing their version of corporate social responsibility through events such as discounts on tolls, or handing out oranges, does not absolve them of their obligations and categorical duty towards road safety and care for motorcyclists.
Meanwhile, the government must demand on behalf of the voiceless citizens who ply the kilometers of lanes that PLUS ensures the lanes are broadened, improved and maintained to satisfactory safety standards in view of the increasing rise in motorcyclists plying the routes each year.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.