Inspection time: A JPJ officer directing a lorry driver for inspection at a weighing station. — Picture courtesy of JPJ
PETALING JAYA: Lorry drivers are frustrated that they have become the target of authorities simply for having the push-to-talk application Zello in their phones.
The application first came to the authorities’ attention after a multi-agency traffic operation in Kuala Lumpur last month to nab errant lorry drivers.
Almost all lorry drivers detained during the operation reportedly had Zello installed in their phones.
Truckers and Snappers Club Malaysia treasurer Khairi Ali, 44, said lorry drivers have been using the application since 2013 to communicate with each other especially during long drives at night.
Khairi, who has been driving lorries for 25 years, said it was shocking that truckers were being faulted for using the app.
“We get tired while driving at night, so we talk to each other and listen to each other’s problems.
“We don’t use it specifically for evading roadblocks and traffic operations. We use the app to warn each other about accidents or traffic jams,” he explained.
Khairi claimed the club received complaints from 20 lorry drivers detained by authorities for having the application in their phones.
“The most recent arrest was at the Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 2. The authorities stopped a driver and asked to see his licence and phone.
“When they saw he had Zello installed in his phone, they threatened to arrest him,” he claimed.
Khairi said all the lorry drivers detained for having Zello were eventually freed, due to lack of evidence that they were abusing the application.
He said other than Zello, truckers used WeChat and WhatsApp to stay in contact with each other.
Pan-Malaysia Lorry Owners’ Association (PMLOA) president Jong Foh Jit said he had heard about the sharing of such information, which has been going on for some time now.
He said it was time that the authorities have a strict enforcement against those who collude to evade the enforcement personnel on duty.
“As far as our association is concerned, we always advise our members not to do anything illegal.
“What is there to worry about when there are JPJ and police roadblocks if you didn’t do anything wrong?
“We agree for strict actions to be taken against this,” said Jong.
Errant lorrymen getting smart
‘Tontos’ ride off into the sunset
‘Modus operandi’ uncovered during traffic op in KL