Cut in emergency lane misuse
> RTD: Severe penalty an effective deterrent
PUTRAJAYA: Strict enforcement action by the Road Transport Department (RTD) has helped to reduce emergency lane abuse since May 22.
RTD enforcement director Datuk Valluvan Veloo said the severe penalty imposed is making drivers think twice before using the emergency lane to cut queues in traffic jams.
“The punishment is heavy because we don’t want people to do that.
“We are trying to change the attitude of drivers. We used to only issue compounds of a maximum RM300. Now we take them to court,” he told theSun.
He admitted that enforcement on the abuse had previously been sporadic as the RTD and traffic police had to be physically present to catch offenders.
Drivers, he said, realise that the chances of getting caught redhanded are very slim as the RTD and police cannot be there every day, and it has become a habit for many to use the emergency lane to cut queues during traffic jams.
Such an abuse was believed to have caused an ambulance to reach an accident site late at the North-South Expressway near Ayer Keroh on May 22, which could have attributed to the death of two victims.
“Ambulances must be given priority. Come on, they are saving lives! What is this?” an exasperated Valluvan said, adding that it was after the incident that the RTD decided to take lane abusers to court.
Members of the public can also lodge complaints by taking pictures of the offenders.
From May 22 to Aug 25, a total of 2,783 vehicles abusing the lanes were identified.
Of the number, 806 were taken to court and of them, 113 were fined a total of RM170,000 or an average of RM1,500 per driver.
Valluvan said the number of people abusing the emergency lanes is reducing as the RTD has heard from ambulance drivers that their journey has been much smoother than before.
Meanwhile, he said the Transport Ministry is still studying the proposal to adopt similar measures against other traffic offences.
An RTD officer issues a summons to a motorist for misusing the emergency lane to cut the queue on the Federal Highway.