File picture of traffic jam on the Plus highway.

BE prepared for some long hours behind the steering wheel. PLUS Malaysia Berhad (PLUS) expects an astounding 1.6 million motorists on the road during the upcoming Chinese New Year “balik kampung” exodus.

Traffic on the North-South Expressway was expected to go up by 10.3 per cent during this festive period, said PLUS managing director Datuk Azman Ismail.

Among the most affected is likely to be the Rawang-Simpang Pulai stretch, will see an increase in traffic of between 127 and 145 per cent.

For those travelling south, traffic is expected to be heavy along Alor Star-Sungai Dua, Jawi-Kuala Kangsar, Simpang Pulai-Slim River, Sungkai-Bukit Beruntung, Bukit Beruntung-Rawang, Seremban-Nilai, Ayer Keroh-Senawang, Yong Peng-Tangkak, and Ayer Hitam-Pagoh stretches.

Azman said PLUS would be offering a toll rebate on non-peak days. As usual, PLUS will be issuing the Travel Time Advisory (TTA) schedule to manage traffic during the period, which is expected to peak between Feb 14 and Feb 25.

PLUS chief operating officer Zakaria Ahmad Zabidi said to ensure smooth traffic, 5,000 personnel would be on duty during the festive period.

THE MOST FREQUENTLY STOLEN CARS IN MALAYSIA

The Proton Wira and Toyota Hilux are the two top cars targeted by thieves in Malaysia.

General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) chief executive officer Mark Lim said insurance claims were made for a total of 654 units of Wira and 537 units of Hilux in the last 12 months.

The Perodua Kancil was ranked third in terms of vehicle theft insurance claims with 378 units, followed by Proton Iswara (340), Perodua MyVi (290), Proton Waja (231), Proton Saga (214), Honda Civic (133), Honda City (119) and Toyota Vios (117).

Other “hot” models included the Toyota Vellfire (112) and Mitsubishi Pajero (77 units).

Peugeot 308, Peugeot 508, Nissan Vanette, Lexus RX350, BMW 7, Proton Perdana and Ford Courier were other models targeted.

Meanwhile, overall car theft claims have dropped, with a total of 5,625 claims for private cars compared to 7,610 units the previous year.

For motorcycles, 8,874 claims were made, compared with 11,009 units in 2016.

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