Saturday October 13, 2012
Lorry owners livid over fines
By P. ARUNA
PETALING JAYA: Lorry operators are livid over what they claim are “outrageous” penalties imposed on overloaded vehicles, claiming the Land Public Transport Commission's (SPAD) stringent enforcement is affecting their business.
The Pan-Malaysia Lorry Owners Association (PMLOA) said members were suffering huge losses as they were forced to keep to the permitted load to avoid being penalised.
PMLOA president Jong Foh Jit cited recent incidents, including a case where an operator was slapped with a RM12,000 fine for overloading by 11% above the permitted load and another was hit with a fine of RM11,000 or in default of a year's jail, also for 11% excess weight.
“Even lorries don't cost that much. How can we be expected to pay such high penalties?
“There is no leniency at all. If the lorries are overloaded by even1%, we are still forced to go to court,” he said yesterday.
The penalty for overloading, as provided in the Land Public Transport Act, ranges between RM1,000 and RM500,000.
Jong said the association was seeking for leniency in cases of at least 5% above the permitted load.
The association is scheduled to hold a media conference on Oct 20 together to highlight its grouses.
(In Sabah and Sarawak, land public transport is still under the regulation of Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board.)
Jong said SPAD's strict enforcement against overloading since it took over in 2010 had become a huge burden for lorry operators.
Malaysia Hardware, Machinery and Building Materials Dealers Association (MHMBA) president Datuk Patrick Lim urged SPAD to show a bit of clemency, especially for smaller operators.
“Many are small and medium businesses owners. They are forced to make additional trips just to keep to the permitted load, even when it is only a small load, and this incurs major losses for them,” he said.
Lim said, for example, in the case of lorries with five tonne capacities, the vehicle itself weighed three tonnes, allowing operators to carry less than two tonnes on each trip.
“Trucks with capacities of less than 10 tonnes should at least be given some flexibility on permitted loading,” he said.
Enforcement ensures safety of road users, says SPAD