626 road bullies, illegal racers arrested in operation since Aug 1

MOHD HELMI IRWADI MOHD NOR

SEREMBAN: An operation targeted specifically at road bullies and illegal racers since the beginning of the month has so far seen 626 people detained.

Federal police Traffic Enforcement and Investigation Department (TEID) director Datuk Sharul Othman said, of the total, 194 people, or 42 per cent, were youths and 146 were students from Form Three to Five.

He said 1,775 cars and 1,648 motorcycles have been seized for illegal modifications, including to the engines, so that they could be used for illegal races.

“The highest number of arrests, at 335, was in Kuala Lumpur, followed by Penang at 115 people. We also issued 37,282 summonses for various offences.

“We are serious in handling this issue of road bullies and tracking down the organisers or sponsors of illegal road races,” he said at the Senawang police station while heading the Op Samseng Jalanan (Road Bully) in Seremban on Saturday night.

Sharul said one of the main reasons youths got themselves involved in road bullying and illegal racing was because they came from troubled or broken families.

Other reasons, he said, was that they were influenced by peers, had dropped out of school or wanted to experience the thrill of racing.

“This problem is also linked to drugs as 53 of those detained tested positive for the use of illegal narcotics,” he said.

Sharul said the problem seemed to be never-ending and would require the committed involvement of everyone to curb it, adding that things like illegal racing not only endangered the lives of those involved but other road users.

In the long term, he said, TEID would engage with the Education Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, institutions of higher learning and private companies to help curb the issue.

“We will ‘adopt’ four factories in Bangi, Selangor, where we will organise forums on the dangers of illegal racing and the rempit culture,” he said.

On a related matter, Sharul said police were looking for two motorcyclists involved in an illegal race in Jalan Salor Baru, Kota Baru, on Friday which led to the death of another motorcyclist.

He said the duo were believed to have been involved in a bet with Norazrin Azizan Abdul Aziz, 26, who later died after being involved in a collision with a pedestrian, Mohd Azhan Baharudin.

Norazrin died while Azhan suffered a serious leg injury.

“Both these motorcyclists are wanted so that police can complete investigations for causing death by reckless riding. At present, police have already recorded statements from several witnesses and those watching the race,” said Sharul. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd