Cut in emer­gency lane mis­use

> RTD: Se­vere penalty an ef­fec­tive de­ter­rent

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY LEE CHOON FAI

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.

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