Hari Raya is just around the corner and PLUS Malaysia expects more than 2 million vehicles per day during the peak festive season. Following the announcement of free tolls during the two weekends, you can expect more cars on the North-South Expressway as this is the first Balik Kampung trip for most families after two years of movement control order.
For a safer and smoother journey, here are several tips for highway users.
Use RFID for a smoother journey
In case you missed it, PLUS has deployed RFID across all of its toll plazas along the North-South Expressway since 15th January 2022. This provides a smoother journey and you won’t need to worry about topping up a Touch ‘n Go card or replacing batteries on a SmartTAG device. RFID is also the first step toward implementing a barrier-free Multi-Lane-Free-Flow (MLFF) highway experience which the government aims to achieve by 2025.
For a hassle-free experience, RFID users are advised to ensure sufficient balance in their TNG eWallet before starting the journey and it is recommended to enable auto-reload with your linked debit or credit card. When entering the lane, keep your speed to 20 km/h or less for a higher success rate. If you encounter issues at the toll plaza, PLUS has deployed more on-ground staff to assist customers during the busy festive season.
The RFID tag costs RM35 and the pricing is set by Touch ‘n Go, the company that manages the RFID payment system. You can order the RFID tag online through the TNG eWallet app or at a participating RFID Fitment centre. At the moment, TNG eWallet is offering RM8 cashback for RFID purchases.
All toll plazas on the North-South Expressway have at least one dedicated RFID lane while some larger toll plazas may have two or three RFID lanes. There has been strong demand from the public to increase the RFID lanes and highway operators will gradually increase them based on the adoption rate. According to Touch ‘n Go, there are now 1.8 million active RFID users which is almost the same number as SmartTAG users.
Despite the free toll announcement, the barriers for all lanes are still operational as usual and you must enter and exit using the same payment lane. If you enter via RFID, you should also exit via RFID. According to PLUS, the free toll is calculated at the point of exit, so make sure you exit the highway during the stipulated promo period to enjoy the toll discount. If you’re using a Touch ‘n Go card, the card must be active, as expired or suspended cards are not accepted.
Follow the Travel Time Advisory for Hari Raya 2022
If you’re travelling back to your home town between 29th April to 2nd May, it is recommended to start your trip from the Klang Valley before 10:00am if you are going to Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak (North) and Johor. If you’re heading to other states, it is best to start your journey after 1:00pm.
Meanwhile, for those who are returning back to the Klang Valley between 5th May to 9th May, it is recommended to start your journey before 9:00am, regardless of where you are starting your journey. As usual, plan your trip ahead and use navigational apps such as Google Maps and Waze to get the latest traffic updates.
PLUSRonda offers 24-hour roadside assistance
If you encounter any car problems or a flat tyre, PLUS has a 24-hour PLUSRonda team to provide roadside assistance. For your safety, you are actually not supposed to change the flat tyre yourself. Instead, you should get PLUSRonda to do it for you by using the SOS function in the PLUS app which is available on both Android and iOS devices.
If your car breaks down or has a flat tire, you should park your car in the emergency lane, turn on the hazard lights and place the emergency triangle at least 45 metres away from the rear of your car. For safety reasons, all vehicle occupants should wait behind the guard rails until help arrives. According to PLUS, the PLUSRonda can perform minor repairs to vehicles experiencing a mechanical fault as well as towing services to the nearest toll plaza or Rest and Service area.
If you can’t get help via the app, you can call PLUS careline at 1800-88-0000 and provide your location details. Alternatively, you can also use the provided SOS telephones which are placed every two kilometres on the highway.
Check your vehicle before the trip
Before starting your trip, it is recommended to ensure that your car is well prepared and has sufficient fuel for the long drive. You can perform the usual check on engine oil levels and ensure sufficient air pressure for your tyres. Do send your car for service if it is due for scheduled maintenance and check if your tyres are still in good condition.
If you’re brave enough to drive an electric vehicle for the long trip, you might want to plan your charging stops in advance and anticipate longer queues for available charging slots along the highway.
Prepare necessities to keep you and your family comfortable
Whether you’re travelling alone or with your family members, it is recommended to get ready necessities for the trip including drinks and refreshments. This also includes medication or a blanket for a more comfortable trip for your occupants. With a longer travel time during the festive season, do plan for toilet breaks and rest stops along the way. If you’re driving, you should be well-rested for the long-distance drive and if required, you should take a break at the nearest R&R or rest stops.
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