New mo­bile app helps lorry driv­ers evade au­thor­i­ties

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Op­er­a­tors of il­le­gal lor­ries ply­ing the roads are now turn­ing to a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion to evade road­blocks set up by the au­thor­i­ties.

They no longer de­pend on ton­tos (thugs) to get up­dates but are us­ing Zello PTT Walkie-Talkie, a walkie-talkie app, to get in­for­ma­tion on road­blocks .

City Traf­fic En­force­ment and In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment (TEID) deputy chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Ah­mad Ad­nan Basri said it was be­lieved that lorry driv­ers had been us­ing the app for some time, but was only re­cently dis­cov­ered by the au­thor­i­ties.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion is ac­ces­si­ble to anyone.

“They can down­load it on their phones to start com­mu­ni­cat­ing with each other.

“Tra­di­tional walkie-talkie has its lim­i­ta­tion. Users can only com­mu­ni­cate within a cer­tain range, whereas, by us­ing Zello, the message can reach anyone on the same channel na­tion­wide.

“For ex­am­ple, Serem­ban lorry driv­ers will get in­for­ma­tion of road­blocks through the group, and they will just stop out­side the city to avoid get­ting stopped by the au­thor­i­ties,” Ad­nan said af­ter a joint op­er­a­tion in Jalan Tun Razak here, yes­ter­day.

He said lorry op­er­a­tors had turned to this al­ter­na­tive as au­thor­i­ties could eas­ily de­tect ton­tos.

“Now, en­force­ment of­fi­cers can sin­gle out ton­tos by the ve­hi­cles they drive,” said Ad­nan, adding that the mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion could also save on the lorry op­er­a­tors’ op­er­at­ing costs.

Last year, the Road Trans­port Depart­ment, with the help of police, launched Op Can­tas Khas Tonto to bat­tle ram­pant tonto ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ad­nan said the pre-dawn joint op­er­a­tion con­ducted by TEID, Land Public Trans­port Com­mis­sion and City Hall fo­cused on heavy ve­hi­cles.

“Lor­ries are not al­lowed to en­ter the city from 6.30am to 9.30am and 4.30pm to 7.30pm, to re­duce traf­fic con­ges­tion and ac­ci­dents on roads.

“This year, since Jan­uary to date, four fa­tal ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing col­li­sions be­tween mo­tor­cy­cles and lor­ries have been recorded.

“We want to stop that... these op­er­a­tions are needed,” he said.

Us­ing the walkie-talkie ap­pli­ca­tion, lorry op­er­a­tors no longer de­pend on ‘ton­tos’ to get up­dates on road­blocks.

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