Motorists who don’t see
It has become a nightmare for residents of St Nicholas Home to cross the road at Bagan Jermal Road, Burmah Road and Gottlieb Road as irresponsible motorists are choosing to ignore pedestrian traffic signals at these roads.
The home’s director Ooi Chee Khoon noted there were many instances where residents crossing the roads were almost knocked down by motorists who failed to abide by the traffic rules.
“There were also occasions when buses from Bagan Jermal Road wanting to turn left into Burmah Road would overtake cars waiting on the left lane when the lights turn, thus putting the lives of our residents waiting by the shoulder of the road at risk.
“Such cases not only happen at the lights at Bagan Jermal Road – Burmah Road but also at the Gottlieb Road – Bagan Jermal Road lights when the visually impaired usually use the lights to cross the road to get to the Gurney Drive area,” he said at a press conference on Saturday to highlight the problems faced by the 80 inmates of the home when crossing the roads.
Ooi also said at most times, motorists were confused with the lights but there were some who committed the offence with total disregard for the visually impaired.
Visually impaired Amin Teh, 24, who related his experience said he was crossing Gottlieb Road with his visually-impaired wife and his baby when the pedestrian light turned green.
“We were about to get to the Gurney Drive hawker centre when a motorcyclist almost knocked into us when he made a left turn.
“Luckily he managed to stop in time,” he said.
Another resident of the home V. Thangaveloo, 51, said there were not many pedestrian traffic lights with audio signal except for the one in Bagan Jermal Road – Burmah Road.
“Even that is too soft and we can hardly hear the signal when the traffic starts to move.
“There used to be audio signal from both sides to direct us in straight direction while crossing but now there is only audio signal from one side of the traffic light,” he said.
Yusoff Abdul Rahman, 57, who has been using the bus for more than 30 years, lamented that the 22 seconds given for pedestrians to cross the road from the bus stop in Penang Road to Komtar was a bit too short.
“Sometimes motorcyclists stop at the pedestrian crossing and we tend to knock into them. By the time we try to get back on track to cross, the lights have already changed,” he said.
Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong who was present urged motorists and motorcyclists to be more considerate when pedestrians especially the visually-impaired cross the road.
Penang Municipal councillor Ng Chor Huat said he would write to the police for another camera to be set up to capture photos of those who turn into Burmah Road illegally.