SEREMBAN: Police have launched the week-long Ops Rentas to deter people bent on crossing borders to return to their hometowns to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Bukit Aman Traffic and Enforcement Department deputy director Senior Asst Comm Datuk Mohd Nadzri Husain said the exercise, which started on Monday (May 10) was also to ensure those who had approvals to travel interstate adhered to traffic rules during the festive period.
He said under Ops Rentas, roadblocks would be set up along the North South Expressway and the East Coast Expressway to ensure motorists adhered to the interstate travel rule enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To ensure the programme was a success, the highway network in the peninsula has been divided into five zones and 28 sectors and roadblocks would be set up at scheduled times.
“The highway network will be divided into the northern, central A and B, southern and eastern zones.
“The roadblocks would not remain static at one location but will keep on moving after a few hours at one spot, ” he told reporters when launching the operation which would be held until May 16.
He said the respective state police contingents have also set up 349 roadblocks in their respective areas and the move to set up more along the highways was to ensure those bent on returning to their hometowns would not have it easy.
He also advised the people not to violate the interstate travel ban as offenders would not only be ordered to turn back but would be slapped with a compound for violating Act 342 (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988).
“We sincerely hope all Malaysians will give us their cooperation because we do not want the Covid-19 situation to worsen, ” he said.
Senior Asst Comm Mohd Nadzri said apart from accident hotspots, the roadblocks along the highway will be set up at spots where people had the opportunity to cross interstate.
On complaints that such roadblocks would cause traffic congestion, he said the police had no other option as it had to thoroughly check the documents provided by motorists.
“We need time to check the documents as there had been cases where people had tried to cheat their way through using photocopied letters and other fake documents.
“But I am confident that if people who have no business being on the highway during the MCO stay at home, then we will not have much congestion, ” he said.
He said traffic during this MCO would be heavier compared to during the last Hari Raya as more economic activities were allowed this time.
Police, he said, would also use special equipment such as In Car Radar and i-Cops during the operation to detect those who flout traffic rules.
The high-tech equipment allows cops to among others immediately check if a particular vehicle had outstanding summonses or the speed it was being driven.
On a separate matter, Senior Asst Comm Mohd Nadzri said police issued 28,919 summonses to motorists nationwide for various traffic offences during the week-long pre-Ops Rentas held beginning May 3 and in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
The summonses were issued for offences such as speeding, driving or riding without a valid driving licence or road tax, beating the red light and not wearing a helmet among others.
“Based on statistics, the number of accidents increased from 114,820 during the said week from 99,397 the previous week (April 26 – May 2).
“However, the number of road fatalities decreased to 80 during the pre-Ops Rentas against 88 the week earlier, ” he added.
Four people, he said were slapped with compounds for violating the no interstate travel rule while another one was arrested.