Malta’s motor hobbyists have taken to social media to call out alleged “discrimination” and “bullying” by traffic officials after a number of them were stopped during their Sunday morning drive, allegedly over being too loud.
“We feel aggrieved because there’s a large number of car and motorcycle enthusiasts in Malta for such a small island, and for over 20 years we’ve been promised a dedicated track and got nothing,” one enthusiast told Lovin Malta. “Every other hobby has somewhere to go apart from us.”
The rise in complaints came after another motorist uploaded a post on Sunday, alleging that he and a number of others had been stopped by Transport Malta officials while driving on the Coast Road.
The man recounted how he was “sent to the back of a long queue” of drivers, where some claimed they spent an hour waiting.
“It was also said that, while some traffic police officers were civil and amicable with us hobbyists, some TM officials were arrogant and it was felt that on some level there was ‘bullying’ from the officials. Apparently, the inspection were mainly over the loudness of the vehicles,” he had said.
He also alleged discrimination between “working-class hobbyist vehicles” and “expensive” cars like Ferraris.
His post ignited a series of complaints from local motorists, who called out everything from being targeted for their vehicles to the lack of a dedicated race track where they could practice their hobby.
“While I understand and appreciate the department’s work, I don’t understand why it has to happen on Sundays and public holidays, when that’s the only chance we have to let loose,” said another motorist.
“Now they want to completely destroy our hobby by stopping us for nothing on Sunday mornings, with some of us even being treated like criminals, like we did something wrong, when all we want to do is go for a drive on Sunday morning to enjoy our hobby,” he continued.
“We are disappointed – we have some really talented people in motorsports in Malta, and theres’ no initiative shown to help us or even show respect to our vehicles, many of which are classics and are well-kept,” he said.
“And another thing – you can forget thinking we are ‘reckless drivers’!” he ended. “Enthusiasts spend so much money on our cars and take care of them… how could we be driving recklessly and possibly damaging something we love so much?”
*Names have been changed
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