(File pic) Road Transport Department (RTD) director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Khalid. (NSTP/MOHD KHAIRUL HELMY MOHD DIN)

KUALA LUMPUR: Many road users are unhappy about lorries parking dangerously in highway emergency lanes.

The New Straits Times spoke to some lorry drivers and a majority of them said they were too sleepy to drive, especially when they had to drive great distances.

However, this excuse didn’t sit well with Road Transport Department (RTD) director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Khalid.

He said they were breaking the law and could cause harm to other road users.

“Parking in the emergency lane is dangerous and they are taking this very lightly. Vehicles driving at night can easily smash into these giant trucks.

“Their sizes alone make them dangerous for other road users. So, they have to be extra vigilant when they are driving or even parking.”

Shaharuddin said trucks carrying goods were required by law to have co-drivers.

“If they are sleepy, they should have a co-driver to take over so there should not be any excuse that they are too sleepy to drive.

“In the ruling 10B Traffic Laws 1959, it states that vehicles carrying goods and public transport vehicles, there should be a second driver.

“According to the law, companies must provide a second driver for business vehicles that are driven for four hours straight or more than 300km,” he said.

Shaharuddin added that drivers were prohibited from driving more than eight hours within a 24-hour period.

“Drivers are also required to record their travels in a log book and to take note of the change of drivers. They must carry this log book at all times.”

He said RTD, the police and highway authorities had been carrying out operations along the highways regularly, but the problem was still persisting.

“Companies are taking the easy way out. They don’t want to pay for extra drivers and their only concern is the goods must reach their destinations on time.”

Shaharuddin warned that RTD would take action to put an end to the menace.

“We will work closely with police and highway authorities to put a stop to the dangerous practice of parking in the emergency lane,” he said.

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