Authorities should impose higher penalties on lorry drivers who spill sand and stones, says assemblyman

NUSAJAYA: An assemblyman has suggested the state authorities to impose higher penalties on lorries spilling sand and stones on roads as it was posing danger to other motorists.

Jimmy Phua Wee Tse (PKR-Bukit Baru) said the existing fines between RM300 and RM500 were nothing for the lorry operators and quarries as they were already making huge profits.

“Increase the quantum and if they continue to disregard the laws, suspend their operating licences or even order them to cease their operations,” he said.

Phua said Batu Pahat was famous for its bananas, Tenang for wild elephants and Bukit Baru is now known for the stones and sands littering the roads in the area.

He said the dust from the lorries had blanketed the foliage along the roads with white dust and first time visitors to Bukit Baru might think they are in snowing area.

Phua also suggested to the state government to appoint a single agency to monitor and enforce the regulations to avoid confusion and to ensure swifter actions.

State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad admitted there were confusions and delays in handling the problem.

“There are more than one agency handling the matter and also enforcement procedures monitoring lorries ferrying sands and stones for construction activities,” he said.

Hasni said among the agencies involved include the Land Public Transport Transport Commission, Road Transport Department, Johor Land and Mining Office, police and the local councils.

He said uncovered lorries causing spillage or dripping of the materials could face a maximum fine of RM500 or jail term of not more than one month for the first offence.

Hasni added that the driver found to be committing a second offence faces a maximum fine of RM1,000 or up to two months’ jail.

“Overloaded lorries exceeding less than 35% of the limit will be fined RM300 while those exceeding 35% will be fined RM2,000 or jail of not more than six months,” he said.

Hasni said despite monitoring and issuing 421 summonses to the heavy vehicles in the Kulaijaya district from January 2014 until March 2015, there were 89 cases of overloaded lorries.

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