JOHOR BARU - Victims in accidents involving uncovered manholes or potholes should file civil suits against local councils, a senior lawyer said.
Norman Fernandez said the suits would force the councils to be more efficient in ensuring manholes were properly covered and potholes patched quickly.
There have been complaints from the public about these problems over the past few years but they have apparently fallen on deaf ears judging from the state of many roads.
"If you have an accident because of this, take a photograph of the pothole or manhole and lodge a police report," said Fernandez.
"Also, keep the medical reports and bills when you file the civil suit against the local council."
The only hiccup to his plan that he could see was that local councils usually settled such suits out of court to avoid the publicity.
"Four years ago, the Johor Baru City Council paid RM80,000 (S$30,000) in compensation to the family of a woman who died after falling into an uncovered manhole during a Chingay parade," he said.
He believed that if enough suits were brought by the public, it would be too costly for the councils to settle all of them out of court.