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Sunday April 13, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday April 13, 2014 MYT 7:34:18 AM
by patrick lee
SUBANG JAYA: Three enforcement agents defied death when the driver of an overloaded lorry they were chasing for an hour tried to bury them with tonnes of rocks and concrete.
The agents from the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) spotted the lorry heading towards the Awan Besar toll gate along the Kesas Highway at about 12.30pm on Thursday.
SPAD agent Mohd Hafezfuddin Mohd Apandi, 28, said they tried to flag down the lorry after it cleared the toll house but the driver refused to do so and rumbled down the three-lane highway.
“We took out our loudhailers and told him to stop, but he didn’t. We tried to block him, but when we got close, he swerved and wouldn’t let us come side-by-side with him,” he told The Star.
At the time, Hafezfuddin and his colleagues Mohd Akrami Samsudin, 26, and Mohd Syamil Dzulkifli, 26, who were travelling in two unmarked cars, were also trying to avoid stones flying off the lorry.
They radioed for help but a wrong kind of “reinforcement” came.
Three cars tailed them, one travelling in each lane, blocking other vehicles from coming near them and the lorry.
They were the lorry driver’s lookouts, Hafezfuddin said, who probably spotted the agents’ moves and relayed them to the driver.
The lookouts kept their distance, however, and did not try to stop the agents from moving near the lorry.
They didn’t have to as the lorry would swerve dangerously from one lane to the next for the next hour.
Eventually, the lorry exited the highway but the agents followed their target onto a trunk road near Klang.
It was here that the driver made a dangerous move by raising the lorry’s bed, sending its load of rocks and concrete down at the agents, before speeding off.
The lookouts also disappeared.
“We didn’t think he was going to do this,” Hafezfuddin said, adding that it was the first time the agents saw a driver do such a thing.
The agents gave up their chase as action could only be taken on an overloaded lorry with its full load weighed.
SPAD enforcement division head Datuk Che Hasni Che Ahmad said the lorry company had been identified and its licence forwarded for revocation.
He said on that day, a total of 64 SPAD agents patrolled Puchong and Bukit Jalil and flagged down 24 lorry drivers, all guilty of overloading.
A lorry, he said, could be found carrying up to 100 tonnes of cargo, 60 tonnes more than allowed.
“(Usually) only one or two of these drivers would refuse to stop. Some would just stop their lorries, turn off the engines and walk away,” he said.
The lookouts, he said, were also another menace his men had to deal with.
They would keep tabs on their movements at SPAD’s office in Subang, grounding lorry operations in an area if something was amiss.
“They even followed me home. I had to divert my vehicle (to shake them off),” Che Hasni said.
Up to 3,426 lorry and truck drivers have been identified for offences from June 2011 to December 2013, with 75% of those cases referred to the deputy public prosecutors for court action.
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Nation, Transport Safety, spad, lorry
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