Lorry drivers turn to Zello app to avoid roadblocks, get updates

TEOH PEI YING

KUALA LUMPUR: Operators of illegal lorries plying the roads are now turning to a mobile application (app) to evade roadblocks set up by authorities.

They no longer need to depend on tontos (thugs) to get updates but have found the perfect answer in a walkie-talkie app called ‘Zello PTT Walkie-Talkie’, to communicate.

City Traffic Enforcement and Investigation Department (TEID) deputy chief Superintendent Ahmad Adnan Basri said it was believed that lorry drivers have been using this for app for some time now which was only recently discovered by the authorities.

“The application is accessible to anyone. They can just download it on their phone and they can start to communicate.

“Traditional walkie-talkie has its limitation. Users can only communicate within a certain range, whereas, by using Zello, the message can reach anyone on the same channel nationwide.

“For example, Seremban lorry drivers will get information of roadblocks through the group, and they will just stop outside city to avoid getting stopped by the authorities,” Adnan told reporters after a joint-operation at Jalan Tun Razak, here, this morning.

He said the lorry operators had turned to this alternative as authorities can easily detect tonto.

“Now, enforcement officers can single out tontos by the vehicles they are driving.”

The app he said can also save on their operation cost.

Last year, the Road Transport Department with the help of police has launched “Ops Cantas Khas Tonto” to battle rampant tonto activities.

In the pre-dawn joint-operation conducted by TEID, Land Public Transport Commission and City Hall earlier, Adnan said it was focused on heavy vehicles.

“Lorries are not allowed to enter city from 6.30am to 9.30am and 4.30pm to 7.30pm, to reduce traffic snarls and accidents on roads.

“This year, since January to date, four fatal accidents recorded involved collision between motorcycles and lorries. We want to stop that, thus these operations are needed,” he said.