SEPANG: If errant lorry drivers and tontos think they can outsmart the authorities using technology, they should think again, said Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The Transport Minister said that the authorities would also use technology to gain the upper hand on the lorry drivers and their tontos.
Yesterday, The Star reported that errant lorry drivers were turning to technology to evade the law, making tontos – men who trail enforcement officers to tip off traffic offenders – redundant.
They were using mobile applications such as Zello and WeChat to share updates on the whereabouts of Road Transport Department and police operations.
Liow said the authorities would fight fire with fire and the automated enforcement system was one of the technologies employed.
“Having the Automated Awareness Safety System in place is one of the best ways.
“We are also looking at the weighing in motion system where lorries can be weighed without having to stop them.
“If they use technology, we can also use technology to strengthen our enforcement,” he said after opening the Fifth Global Meeting of Non-Governmental Organisations Advocating for Road Safety and Road Victims yesterday.
Liow added that no lorry driver could avoid the weighing in motion system.
Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said it was high time the authorities come up with ways to forge ahead.
He said the sharing of information on roadblocks and enforcement exercises via mobile applications was “something which should have been expected”.
“Authorities have to come up with a counter to this.
“Whatever they do, it can only be effective if the public is involved,” he said, noting that having the people side with the authorities would help with keeping an eye out for errant lorry drivers and other motorists.
“Road safety is a collective responsibility,” he said.
Asked if banning the use of apps such as Zello would help, Lee said it was a matter that should be discussed by the authorities.
There were 7,152 road fatalities in the country last year, and accidents involving lorries and buses resulted in the deaths of 186 and 20 respectively.
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