August 16, 2006 19:42 PM
Boat Operators Asked To Obey Rules To Avoid Accidents
KUCHING, Aug 16 (Bernama) – With the visibility in Sarawak reduced to 5km due to the haze, the Sarawak River Authority (LSS) has warned vessel and boat operators plying the rivers and the coastal areas to be extra cautious.
LDD Chairman Dr Stephen Rundi Itom asked the operators of sampans, passenger boats, speed boats, cargo vessels and ferries to comply with the rules to evade accidents.
He said the rules entailed switching on the safety lights, to reduce speed at meanders and ensuring safety equipment were in good working condition.
Although the waterways especially the Rajang and Baram rivers are safe for transportation, the operators must be extra cautious and obey the rules, he told reporters here Wednesday.
He said to date the authority had not booked any operator but it would come down hard on owners of the vessels and boats who flouted the rules.
He said so far the authority had issued river transportation permits for 3,703 vessels and boats of which 399 were meant to ferry passengers.
Under the Sarawak River Transportation Regulation 1993, an operator can be fined RM2,000 for the first offence, and RM5,000 and jail for two years for the second offence,.