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Traffic Offenders Play Hide And Seek

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KUALA LUMPUR – More people are taking emergency or medical leave this week, although the cause is unlikely to be connected with any illness.

In fact, the police are saying that employees who made “disappearing” acts by calling in sick or pleading domestic distress were trying to avoid being arrested at work during Ops Warta crackdown, an operation which began yesterday.

On a nationwide basis, 251 people have been arrested, while another 239 have presented themselves at the various police stations.

“During our operations today (May 19), the offenders knew we were coming. Most of them were on emergency or medical leave when we visited their work places,” said Bukit Aman traffic chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Mohd Fuad Abdul Latiff.

“Let me tell you one thing, you can hide from us but you can’t run forever.”

He added that police expected a list of excuses from the offenders.

“We have been broadcasting this for two weeks, but some have taken this time to disappear. I advise them to come forward as we will continue to find them one by one,” said SAC Mohd Fuad.

Malaysians prefer to ignore or evade traffic summonses, as only 38,000 or a mere 3% of the 1.59 million summonses were settled, he added.

Johor leads in terms of arrests, with 50, followed by Sarawak (39), Selangor (37), Penang (36), Malacca (24) and Sabah (3).

“Although Ops Warta started today (Tuesday), we still encourage the offenders to come forward and settle their summonses,” he said.

According to Selangor traffic police chief Deputy Supt Azmi Mansor, even employers are in cahoots with the guilty.

“We had one case in Shah Alam, where we visited the office of a man who had 60 summonses totalling RM18,000. We knew he was in the office, but his boss told us he was on MC,” said DSP Azmi, who added that 161 officers were mobilised at 15 roadblocks for the first day of Ops Warta in Selangor.

Speaking to reporters at a roadblock along the Guthrie Corridor Expressway, DSP Azmi said seven motorists were arrested on the spot after they were found to have outstanding summonses.

Shah Alam traffic chief DSP Goh Lee Shen estimated that 4,256 people in his district could be arrested under Ops Warta, which is expected to continue until May 31.

In Johor, a driver in his 30s with 36 summonses was finally arrested. But there are 150,000 traffic offen­ders still roaming free nationwide. – The Star

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