THE two-week-long school holidays are finally over. Perhaps, it is now time to rejoice a bit as traffic along the roads on the island returns back to its normal self as the thousands of out-station vehicles have since returned to their respective home towns.
We rejoice because traffic congestion often cost us more than just time spent idling in traffic.
Being caught in a traffic jam is not only bad but unhealthy as it can play havoc with our blood pressure.
It can also give rise to road rage, resulting in unpleasant incidents.
A traffic jam also robs us of quality time spent with family and friends, as well as causing us to be late for work, appointments and errands.
That is why the authorities need to stop being complacent about the problem, and do something about it now.
The widening of roads particularly along Jalan Gottlieb and the proposed constructions of flyovers and underpass in Jalan Masjid Negeri to alleviate traffic congestion is long overdue.
Now it is time for authorities like the traffic police to get cracking.
Yes, they are seen but often only manning the Jalan Scotland-Jalan Batu Gantong traffic junction early in the morning and stationing themselves under the flyover diagonally across the District Officer’s residence along Jalan Masjid Negeri.
They, are, however, hardly spotted at places where they are much needed, such as in Jalan Burma, Jalan Kelawei and the stretch along Jalan Tanjung Tokong and Batu Ferringhi where traffic congestion is notorious during holiday seasons.
Still, let it be known that having traffic police around, at times, helps. They may not know it, but their presence surely helps the stressful lot on the verge of getting annoyed and angry calm down and relax.
Motorists will at least want to think twice before making illegal turns, or double or triple park by the roadside.
However, the traffic police are not the only authority that should be held accountable for the maddening traffic situation in Penang.
Questions are also being directed at the council on its lethargic response to managing traffic situation in busy roads within the town area.
Its enforcement team can hardly be seen carrying out any vehicle clamping although it is common knowledge that cars are parked haphazardly at every nook and corner available to them.
One wonders if the much-talked about wheel clamping exercise is just a publicity stunt.
Signboards indicating wheel-clamping zones have been placed all over town, but that does not seem to deter the motorists from leaving their vehicles at non-designated parking areas.
Still want to get out from your house and drive around town during the holiday season?