Wednesday, July 12, 2006

NIGHTMARE - ILLEGAL RACE Police OPERATION on Saturday morning; 400 M’sian Cars IMPOUNDED; 40 SUMMONS (@RM300); MASSIVE Jams 2nd Link

Above: Helicopters were used in the Operation to check on escaping vehicles

Below:
The massive jam in queuing up for the
Road Block on the road to 2nd Link


In the wake of police operation in the wee hours of Saturday which saw an estimated 600 people and 400 cars being rounded up for illegal racing, PLUS Expressways Bhd, operator of the Second Link Highway, has issued a stern warning that such activities will not be allowed anymore.

The residents of Gelang Patah, located about five kilometres from the expressway, have complained about the noise caused by the weekend illegal racing which has been going on for the past five or six months.

They said luxury cars such as Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Mitsubishi with modified engines were used in the races, defined as drag racing by enthusiasts where a straight stretch of the highway, usually a kilometre long, is used.

On Saturday night, police moved in with a helicopter, 10 patrol cars and 140 men on motorcycles and arrested 600 people, including spectators. A total of 400 cars and 150 motorcycles were also impounded.

GOOD NEWS for Drag Racing
Maybe the situation (illegal racing) has gone out of hand. We meant well when we organised the Second Link Drag Challenge three months ago to give drag racing enthusiasts a chance to try out their favourite sport.

"And we did it under close supervision from the authorities," added Khalilah.

But there is an alternative for those who still want to do drag racing.

According to Khalilah Mohamed Talha, PLUS Expressways Bhd’s assistant general manager, Corporate Communications, told Bernama Monday, "a 1km permanent drag racing track at the Action Sports Adventure Paradise (Asap) in nearby Nusajaya was almost ready for use"

The developer, UEM Land Bhd, had been conducting tests on the track and it should be open to the public soon, she added.

And for those returning home to Singapore it ws indeed a nightmare to be caught in the police dragnet. Apparently, they noted down almost all the registration numbers of those involved (including spectators) and video taped the illegal race and you can imagine how much time it took for them to one by one verify the vehicles involved during the Roadblock. So for many, it was a 6 hours or more ordeal and frustration. Read the report from S'pore's "ELECTRIC NEWS" below:-
*************************************************

..and here is the NST account on Illegal Second Link race: RM300 fine for offenders
11 Jul 2006 Chuah Bee Kim

JOHOR BARU: Those involved in the illegal race at the Second Link over the weekend have been slapped with a RM300 compound fine each.

Police issued 40 summonses, amounting to RM12,000, to owners of the vehicles used in the race. They included nine motorcyclists, whose vehicles were seized during the big-scale operation to nab illegal racers.

However, only 38 owners have claimed their vehicles. In all, 400 Malaysian-registered cars were impounded at the Johor Baru North police station following the operation. Among the cars at the police station were a Porsche and a BMW.

The car owners were fined for offences such as illegal modifications, fancy licence plates and glass tints, which were not approved by the Road Transport Department.

Johor Baru North traffic police chief Inspector Bakri Zainal Abidin said an additional RM8,140 was collected from 62 previous summonses issued to the car owners.

Of the 600 drivers detained, 50 were sent for drug tests and one tested positive for heroin.

The operation involved a helicopter, 140 policemen on motorcycles and 10 police cars at the access road leading to the Second Link bridge in Gelang Patah.

Bakri also warned that spectators would also be hauled up if they were caught at illegal races.

"We noticed there were students among the crowd who had lined up to cheer the motorcycles and cars, but we decided to let them off with a warning this time."

As for tracing the organiser of the race, Bakri said the case was still being investigated.

During the race, the cars and motorcycles sped along the three-kilometre stretch with hundreds of spectators cheering them on.

The residents of Gelang Patah had been complaining for the past three months about the noise from the modified engines and the crowd. The six-lane road is turned into an illegal racing circuit every weekend.

and here is the perspective account from the Singapore end complaining about


Detained at road block for hours, S'porean claims M'sian police told her:

Need the loo? Do it in bushes; by Zubaidah Nazeer
July 11, 2006

HUNDREDS of cars were stopped on the highway by the Malaysian police early yesterday morning. They were held up for hours as helicopters swooped in and documents were confiscated.

Travellers, including many Singaporeans, had to go without water and food. Even toilet breaks proved to be difficult. Later, a long line of cars was escorted to a police station, where there was more waiting.

It was mid-morning before some of the Singaporeans got back. The road block was near Gelang Patah on the Second Link highway in Johor, and one of those held up said she heard the police mention illegal racing.

Ms Siti (not her real name), a customer service officer, said she was with nine friends. They had driven from
Singapore to Pasir Gudang in six cars. There, Ms Siti, 25, claims they watched a legal car race at 11pm on Saturday. Around 1.45am, the group left.

They headed to the Second Link to meet a friend who was waiting for them at the petrol station near the Malaysian checkpoint. They planned to go for supper after that.

The cars - all travelling one behind the other on the left lane at about 100kmh - passed a highway toll booth near Gelang Patah.

NIGHTMARE

Then, as they neared the road leading to the Second Link, they were stopped by the police. Ms Siti noticed more cars in front. After about 20 minutes, they were waved to move on. Less than five minutes later, about 2km away, they noticed a jam. This is where their nightmare began.

Said Ms Siti: 'We saw something like 300 cars. We thought it was strange that there were so many cars at this time of the night.' About 50 of these cars had
Singapore plates, she and her friends estimated. She saw three patrol cars and more police officers stopping cars.

Her friend, Kevin, 26 (who also did not want his full name revealed), claimed: 'I asked the police officers what's going on and he just said, 'Shut up and wait'.'

The Subaru WRX driver, who was leading the group, was then asked to surrender his passport, identity card and driver's licence. Said another member of the group, Mr Syamsul Mohd, 33, a civil servant: 'I was told to give my passport, but my friend, who was also in my car, was not asked for any documents.'

Added Ms Siti: 'The police officers were speaking in Malay and told us we had been caught for illegal racing.' Said Mr Kevin: 'It was a massive jam. I saw uncles and aunties, some in family saloon cars, stuck in the roadblock.' The cars were inching forward and were being guided to U-turn on to the other side of the road to form two lines - one for Singapore-registered cars and the other for Malaysian ones.

Said Ms Siti: 'I saw two helicopters circling. Then one of them somehow landed on the road.
'I saw people coming out of their cars to take pictures and videotape the whole thing.'

She also spotted photographers, possibly from the media. They were stuck there for nearly three hours. Said Mr Syamsul: 'It was getting irritating. We did not know why we were
targeted and stopped.'

Ms Siti claimed: 'I wanted to go to the toilet, so I told a police officerto let us off, but he just told me to do it in the bushes like how the men do. She also saw motorcyclists with big bikes stopped.

Just before
5am, they were instructed to follow each other in a line. A Malaysian police car was leading the line with another one at the end. They arrived at Skudai Police Station and were told to park in the compound. There were about 200 cars there, they estimated.

POLICE ASKED FOR CAR KEYS

Said Mr Kevin: 'The officers asked me for my car keys and said they wanted to hold my car to check for illegal modifications. They told me I can come back on Tuesday. 'I asked why they need it and they accused me of challenging them. Then one officer told me if I wanted to challenge him, challenge him in court.'

He added: 'I just kept quiet because I did not want to anger them anymore... But I was upset.'
He tried calling numbers back home, and even the Singapore High Commission in
Kuala Lumpur, but he couldn't get anyone.

Said Mr Syamsul: 'No one attended to us. The officers looked busy and none of us dared to question them.' Five hours into their ordeal and none of them had any food or water.

So Mr Kevin walked a kilometre to the nearest petrol station as shops in nearby Skudai Parade had not opened yet, to get some pastries and water for himself and his friends.

Mr Syamsul claimed: 'When we asked to go to the toilet, the officers told us to join a queue for two cubicles for hundreds of us.' Around
9am, names were called out one at a time. Those called were given back their documents and told they could drive off.

Mr Syamsul recalled the officers going through a handwritten list of car numbers and just telling him he could go off, with no explanation. At first, the police officers told Mr Kevin he could not leave.

Said Ms Siti: 'We demanded to know why and what proof they had. We kept demanding until the officers talked among themselves and, just like that, they released him.'

By the time they made their way back to
Singapore, Ms Siti was late for her 9 am shift at work and called in sick.

Mr Kevin, who runs his own logistics business, had to cancel an appointment in the morning, and his girlfriend, who was with him, rushed to work at
11am. When The New Paper contacted the Skudai police station, a spokesman confirmed that they had a roadblock operation early yesterday morning. But she declined to give more details.
____

1 Comments:

Blogger Stupe said...

serve the illegal racers right.

they should be banned frm driving for good!

3:02 PM  

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