GEORGE TOWN, March 19 — An e-hailing driver rammed into a police roadblock along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Highway this morning while pre-occupied with the e-hailing application on his smartphone.
The 46-year-old driver from Butterworth on the mainland was heading towards Bayan Lepas on the island to pick up a passenger when he drove into the roadblock.
Northeast District Police chief Assistant Commissioner Soffian Santong said the police officers manning the roadblock escaped unscathed in the incident.
“The driver has admitted to using the Grab application while driving so he did not notice the roadblock and rammed into it,” he said.
He added only some equipment such as traffic cones and beacons were damaged in the incident.
The police are conducting roadblocks along major roads in Penang throughout the day to advise the public to stay home during the two-week Movement Control Order (MCO) period.
This morning, Southwest district police chief Supt A. Anbalagan said the police started conducting roadblocks since last night to ensure those who are outside are only to buy essential items or to work in essential services.
He said the police are starting with a soft approach by advising the public for now.
“We want the people to adhere to the MCO and not treat this as a holiday to go anywhere they like,” he said.
He said chronic failure to comply could lead to penalties of up to RM1,000 in fines, six months’ imprisonment or both.
He added that the police will also be visiting supermarkets and malls to ensure those who are queuing to purchase essential items are practising social distancing of at least one metre.