No such thing as surprise roadblocks

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PETALING JAYA: A lawyer has pointed out that it is improper for police to complain about road users warning one another about roadblocks.

“There’s not supposed to be any element of surprise when it comes to roadblocks,” Visvanathan Murugiah told FMT.

He was commenting on a recent news report that said police had found a new modus operandi among lorry drivers during an operation last month to catch errant lorries heading into the city during peak hours.

The report quoted city traffic police deputy chief Ahmad Adnan Basri as saying police had found out that users of chat groups such as WhatsApp were updating information on roadblocks and the locations of speed cameras.

Visvanathan said they were not committing a crime, adding that the authorities were fighting a losing battle if they were trying to go against technology.

“We’re no longer in the age of dinosaurs,” he said. “Gone are the days when you’d hide behind a tree to catch somebody committing an offence.

“As much as you don’t like all these advances, you can’t stop it. Who knows, maybe soon there will be satellites showing pictures of officers manning roadblocks.”

He advised police officers and their counterparts in the Road Transport Department to come to terms with the transparency and speed of information sharing that typically came with developments in information technology.

On whether surprise roadblocks were akin to entrapment, Visvanathan said the question did not apply to Malaysia.

“Perhaps in other countries like the US, there is a law against entrapment, but Malaysia does not recognise this,” he said.