IF you are a frequent road user off Jalan Hamilton and Jalan Masjid Negeri in Jelutong, especially early in the morning and any time past 12.00pm during the weekdays, you will notice motorists queueing up bumper-to-bumper to fetch their children to and from the schools in the vicinity.
In view of this matter, the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) had decided to initiate the Ops Bersepadu, a joint effort between the MBPP enforcement officers and the police force at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Convent Green Lane here.
MBPP councillor Connie Tan said the initiative (Ops Bersepadu), which takes effect today (April 5) was important to address traffic woes at the schools, especially with the return of secondary students effective today (April 5).
“We have received complaints in the past, so with Ops Bersepadu this time, we are able to organise the officers accordingly to be stationed at these two schools during the peak hours, to help transition drop off and pick up activities by the parents.
“With secondary students returning to schools today, we are expecting the traffic to pile up. We would have at least eight MBPP enforcement officers and two to three police officers on site,” Tan said during the press conference at SK Convent Green Lane today.
Tan, who is also the MBPP traffic management sub-committee chairman, urged parents to also work hand-in-hand with the schools and officers to ensure smooth transition while dropping off and picking up their children from the schools.
“We would like to encourage parents not to arrive too early at the schools as this would worsen the traffic.
“And for those parents who arrive early, please be considerate towards other road users by not causing difficulty in terms of parking your cars in the most inconvenient manner for others.
“We also hope all of you will be able to follow instructions given by the officers on duties. They are just doing their part to help resolve this long-term issue in this area,” she added.
While preventive measures were being taken on the roads, the schools’ management had also contributed by setting different timings to release the primary and secondary students in order to avoid overcrowding.
According to Connie, this was also important in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
As of now, the timings are for Year 1 students from 12.30pm to 5.45pm, Year 2 from 12.45pm to 5.50pm, Year 3 from 1.00pm to 6.00pm, Year 4 from 7.50am to 12.45pm, Year 5 from 7.40am to 12.50pm, Year 6 from 7.30am to 1.00pm and lastly, secondary students from 7.30am to 2.00pm.
“I would like to sincerely thank the police officers and our enforcement officers for showing concern about this matter. I also call on all the parents to cooperate as well as to make this operation (Ops Bersepadu) a success,” she added.
Story by Kevin Vimal
Pix by Alissala Thian