Lorry drivers staging a protest, as they parked their huge vehicles outside the Road Transport Department building in Johor Baru. - Photo by LIM CHENG KIAT
JOHOR BARU: Fed up with frequent summonses, a group of about 100 lorry drivers decided to go on strike by parking their lorries and barricading the entrance to the state’s Road Transport Department (RTD) office here.
The lorry drivers began the strike at around 4pm and only moved their vehicles at around 7.30pm after Johor Baru South OCPD ACP Sulaiman Salleh convinced them to disperse peacefully.
Driver M. Moon, 36, who has been driving for the past five years, said that he had to pay up to RM15,000 in summonses due to overloaded goods.
”SPAD officers conduct checks too frequently as I usually have to face at least 20 of them in a month,” he said adding that the load was usually levelled with the lorry’s body, posing no danger to other motorists.
Moon also claimed that SPAD’s weighing device was not calibrated and read at least five tonnes heavier compared to RTD’s scales.
Another driver who only wanted to be known as Shaq, 26, complained that some SPAD officers issued summonses as and when they stumbled upon a driver on the road.
“Most of them wore plain cloths with only a SPAD vest as identification and do not produce their identification badge when issuing the summons.
“We starting facing these problems only when SPAD took over handling such transport issues from RTD several years ago,” he said.
Johor Tipper Association president Norizan Atailah, who led the protest said that several complaints which were directed to the SPAD had gone unheard.
“We took to the streets as SPAD refused to hear our plight,” he said adding that the commission had earlier insisted that the drivers go by the books.
Norizan then added that the issue would be forwarded to higher authorities including the state government until an agreement was reached.
SPAD officer who were at the scene refused to comment when approached by reporters.