Traffic Police, LTA and NEA mount joint enforcement blitz against heavy vehicle drivers

LTA officers doing checks on the soil after the vehicle is suspected of overloading.ST VIDEO: NG HUI WEN
Joint heavy vehicles enforcement ops with TP, LTA and NEA underway. Vehicles suspected of smoke emissions are escorted back for checks with a Hartridge smoke meter. This vehicle failed the test.ST VIDEO: NG HUI WEN

SINGAPORE - A Malaysian truck driver was ordered to turn back to the country on Monday morning (June 19) after his vehicle recorded smoke emissions more than twice the limit.

Half an hour later, another truck driver was stopped for having faulty reverse lights and illegal modifications.

They were among a group of errant heavy vehicle drivers caught in a joint enforcement blitz by the Traffic Police (TP), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the National Environment Agency (NEA).

The operations are part of month-long efforts to clamp down on such drivers, announced by TP last Friday, after a series of fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles.

On Monday, The Straits Times set off in an unmarked car with TP officers at about 10.30am, as they combed major roads and highways in the western part of Singapore for the next two hours.

Also on the prowl were LTA and NEA officers on motorcycles, who escorted suspected errant drivers back to a heavy vehicle carpark for inspections.

At about 11.30am, ST observed NEA officers using a Hartridge Smoke Meter to measure the opacity of smoke emitted by a Malaysian truck.

The vehicle logged an average result of 94 Hartridge Smoke Units (HSU), well above the limit of 40 HSU. The driver was escorted to the checkpoint by officers.

A few minutes later, another truck was pulled in to the carpark for suspected overloading of soil. After doing physical checks on the soil, LTA officer sent the vehicle to a nearby inspection centre for weighing.

Half an hour later, along Jalan Buroh, a trailer truck was stopped for several LTA offences, including faulty reverse lights, failing to display a speed limiter label and illegal modifications.

In total, 62 summonses were issued against 30 heavy vehicle drivers for traffic offences such as speeding, failing to keep left on the expressways and using a mobile phone while driving.

There were 36 LTA offences and one foreign heavy vehicle turned back to Malaysia for excessive smoke emission, said the authorities in a joint media release.

Said TP deputy commander and assistant police commissioner Devrajan Bala: "Heavy vehicles, because of their size, have the propensity to cause greater damage and loss of lives when involved in an accident."

He urged all heavy vehicle drivers to exercise responsibility on the roads and "think about the accident victims, especially the vulnerable groups, the elderly and young pedestrians and motorcyclists".