Sarawak eyes statewide upgrade to smart traffic lights to improve vehicle flow

KUCHING: Smart traffic lights will be installed in Sarawak to improve vehicle flow, says state Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin.

He said this was necessary as the number of vehicles in the state had grown by 33.7% from 1.27 million in 2010 to 1.93 million in 2020.

“Our plan is to upgrade all traffic lights in Sarawak to become smart lights, which will use artificial intelligence to control the flow of traffic.

“The light will stay green for a longer time for lanes with more vehicles,” he told reporters after launching a state-level road safety campaign in conjunction with the coming Chinese New Year at Jalan Tun Jugah here on Monday (Jan 17).

Lee said motorcycles made up 45.5% of Sarawak’s total motor transport ownership, comprising 875,169 in 2020, while private cars totalled 853,405 or 44.3%.

He said the number of vehicles on roads was expected to increase as many economic sectors had reopened during the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

Sarawak transitioned to Phase Four of the NRP on Jan 3.

Lee called on road users to be careful and alert to prevent accidents, especially when making long-distance journeys to go home for Chinese New Year.

He said human factors such as carelessness were the leading cause of accidents in the state.

“Others include fatigue while driving, not adhering to the speed limit, and tailgating,” he said.

To improve road safety, Lee said the ministry will introduce an awareness behavioural change programme this year.

“The programme will educate road users on awareness and safety in driving,” he said.