Police Roadblocks: The Evolution Part 2

Read Part 1 here

Roadblocks in 1990s

There are 2 circumstances where I have noticed the police would setup have roadblocks – one is when they are on the lookout for escaped criminals or convicts (quite rare though) whilst another to catch those been driving vehicles without proper papers (license or road tax).

In the 1990s, I ride a bike to college or thereafter to work and when I used the motorbike lanes along the Kesas Highway; I am often greeted by a police roadblock on the motorbike lanes – just after one of the rest areas.

The police put up this road block at the right spot, just when one had taken a sharp corner, heavy bushes on both sides of the lane (to hide their presence & Land Rover) and once one had completed the corner, the roadblock abruptly comes in view. It’s too late for anyone who is thinking of making a quick u-turn or tries to avoid the road blocks for the policemen can see them from afar and can give chase.

All motorcyclists will be stopped and checked for their licenses and road taxes. Roadblocks on the motorbike lanes is simple – no poles or barriers whatsoever. Just couple of policemen on the side of the lanes with one (often with a large stick or sometimes but rarely with submachine gun) couple meters away in case any bikers tries to break away from the roadblocks.

(The kind of idiots that need to be stopped by the police at roadblocks and thrown off deep in the ground. Image source: Antkilling)

Such roadblocks does not bother me much because it is manned only on the evenings (when most of us are heading back home) and it takes less than 3 minutes for them check the papers and allows us to continue with our ways.

Never in my “motorcycling days” have I seen road blocks in the morning rush hours. There are traffic policemen in the morning on the side of the road to catch those drivers using the emergency lanes (the queue jumpers). Often caught at these road blocks are mat rempits, illegal immigrants and youngsters riding without license or sometimes without helmets.

I rode a slick 2-stroke Yamaha bike to work and I made sure that I had papers up to date and in a place where it is easy to be retrieved. I also had proper attire when I on the bike – a tear-proof, water proof biker jacket, gloves and an expensive helmet.

It’s for safety and also to “impress” others (ahem). Unfortunately it also impressed the policemen at the roadblock for I am always stopped – not to query on the license or road taxes (sometimes they never bother to ask anyway). I would be stopped because they wanted to know where I bought my jacket or sometimes to check on my bike, something that I am too obliged to tell them.

Perhaps it is because they called me “abang” (big brother) – they maintained discipline and the friendly approach at all times (no “I am police, you are nothing” attitude).

Roadblocks in 1990s was little inconvenience but it was not so troublesome and it worked well to filter out the bad motorist & trouble makers from the rest

To be continued…

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