JOHOR BARU: More than 100 lorry drivers caused a massive traffic jam at the Inner Ring road in the city when they parked their vehicles near the Tanjung Puteri Customs Complex here yesterday.
The two-hour protest from about 10am yesterday was against enforcement by Road Transport Department (JPJ) officers on overloading since Jan 1. They dispersed after talks with police and JPJ officials.
Lorry operator Andrew Chia, 40, said he had 30 lorries but only 10 drivers willing to work.
“My drivers have received at least eight summonses since the operations started.
“I am still not sure of how much they totalled but the summonses ranged between RM1,000 and RM10,000 each,” he said.
Chia said they had to overload because the factory operators had forced them to do so.
He also said that the enforcement was “unfair” as it only involved lorries leaving Malaysia but not those entering the country.
Lorry driver Md Amri Ahmad, 29, said that the enforcement had affected his income.
“My income is based on the number of trips I make each day, and the implementation of the ruling had caused traffic jams that delayed my journeys,” he said.
Johor JPJ director Rosly Ramly said the operation was part of their duties.
“We received information from the public that many roads are damaged due to overloaded lorries,” he said.
He added that they were ready to discuss with the lorry operators about their problems and that the protest should not have occurred.
“Such protests only cause inconvenience to the other road users,” he said.
Since Jan 1, 319 out of 531 lorries inspected were found to be overloaded.
However, Johor Lorry Operators’ Association president Leow Hock Tiap said the association was not involved in the protest and that it was organised by individuals.
Leow urged the Government to increase the vehicle’s load weight by 30% to help ease their burden following a drop in business due to the economic downturn.
Currently, the approved weight is between eight and 10 tonnes per axle, depending on the size of the vehicle.
“This is lower than the international standard of 11 tonnes, and we hope the Government can make the adjustment accordingly,” he said.
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