Defenders of traffic criminals vs our fight against crime

Sometimes I can’t fathom the ‘small-mindedness’ of anti-Government activists and the sycophants of Pakatan Rakyat. Their prejudice towards any efforts by the government, however good, had made them a bit daft. Simply put, they just can’t think in a rational manner anymore.

Take for example, the effort of the government to curb traffic offenders as posted below:

Government wants to raise traffic fines to RM2,000

KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — A hefty fine of up to RM2,000 awaits traffic offenders including for beating the red light, when amendments to the Road Transport Act 1987 are approved.

The Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2012 was tabled today at the Dewan Rakyat for the first reading by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri.

An amendment to subsection 79(2) was also sought to set the minimum penalty at RM300 and maximum at RM2,000 for motorists or pedestrians who ignore an order or traffic signal by a uniformed policeman or warden on traffic duty. The original act provides for an offender to be fined not more than RM500.

An amendment to subsection 26(2) of the bill is aimed at setting the minimum penalty for driving without a licence at RM300 and increasing the maximum from RM1,000 to RM2,000 and offenders liable to a jail term not exceeding three months, or both.

The proposed fine for speeding, under subsection 40(1) is RM2,000, from the original penalty of not more than RM1,000.

The Bill also included a new definition for an electric bicycle — “[vehicles] which cycles with pedal assistance equipped with an auxiliary electric motor at a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25km/h or sooner if the cyclist stops pedalling”.

A new section, 76A, has also been inserted in the Bill, which gives road users the liberty to make a left turn at the traffic junction provided it was safe to do so. — Bernama

In August 2009, I posted an article; Road Fatalities – Do We Even Care About Our Loved Ones? Nothing much has changed since then.

With increasing number of road accidents and fatalities in our Malaysian roads, the relevant authorities had no choice but to instil further deterrents to traffic crimes with the hopes that the public in general will become more disciplined when using our roads.

As the statistics shown, there are more than 6,000 deaths per year and over 400,000 road accidents occurring just in 2010; and this figure is rising at an alarming rate.

The new act will definitely help reduce these fatalities IF the people obey the traffic rules and laws. Traffic offenders are a nuisance to society and any effort to reduce the number of traffic offenders should be greatly welcomed.

Imagine a world without people double parking blatantly. Imagine crossing the road peacefully without any drunk drivers that could accidentally run over you and your family. Imagine driving around town without getting hit by a teenager without any driving licence. Imagine a city without dangerous ‘mat-rempits’ racing on the roads.

These are traffic criminals that must be penalised or punished with severe penalties.

But I am surprised that some of us chose to defend these traffic offenders and shift the blame to the police officers!

For instance, the comment by Peter which received the highest number of likes (99 so far) in the article posted above.

Now the happiest people will be those corrupted enforcement officers. Non corrupted ones will join in too. Now everyone will “pay” under counter. 

RM2000 for a principle of not giving … no it wont work . All will pay or be bankcrupt lah. 

Welcome to Malaysia… especially Singaporeans. 

Dont be surprised… the collections for the govt will drop by 1/2 because all “fear” the max RM2000 or go to jail. 

Stupidity knows no bounds.

Logically, if people do not break the traffic rules, there is no need for the police to summon them. This is as simple as it goes. If you break the law, then you must be penalised. Why do you have to resort to pay ‘under the counter’ to the police?

If you do not wear seat belts, is that the fault of the police? Why do you need to bribe the police to get away with it and then blame the police for it?

Bribery starts from the giver.

Let people be responsible for their actions.

So you do not want to wear seat belts or want to drive at 180km/h on a 110km/h highway. That is your own volition. But if you get caught by the police, please do not kick a fuss or trying to offer a way out by sheepishly saying “tak boleh settle sini ke Encik’?

I for one, am supporting this effort to increase the amount of fine for traffic offenders. These ‘criminals’ are no different from other type of criminals. Worse, their offence could well costs the lives of other people.

We must not emulate some opposition leaders who entice and encourage people to break the laws of this country whenever they want to. The laws are there for a reason. To safeguard the safety of the majority. A responsible government must increase the sense of security of our surroundings and lower our fears when we go out and about doing our business. A secured and healthy psyche of our society will make the nation stronger.

Thus we do not need some people who encourage law breakers and lynching our security forces.

It is really sickening when people could not see who the bigger culprits are in this traffic offenders vs corrupt police issue. Obviously, if there is no offence, there will be no summons issued at all.

And of course, revenue for the police will be lowered. But this is small price to pay for the  possible lower number of deaths and road accidents in this country. But with a stronger and more efficient enforcement on collecting payment for summonses, the collection could be improved.

On a related note, Road Transport Department will test a new system which will encourage traffic offenders to settle their summonses quickly. Every year the government loses millions of ringgit from unsettled summonses by traffic criminals.

I believe the RTD will install traffic cameras and surveillance systems to enable a more efficient ways to catch traffic offenders and get them to pay within a stipulated timeframe. When the offenders know that they could not escape the fine, they will be more disciplined in following the traffic regulations.

In the long run, number of traffic incidences will decrease and the aftermath would be better driving conditions and safer environment for road users and pedestrians in particular.

Which is why, it is amazing that for any effort by the government to curb crimes and save lives, there will be a few cynical people who could not see anything good in any of the efforts thus far. And to make matters worse, they do not provide any other sound solutions as well.

One such example is this:

The RTD is coming up with a new scheme to encourage traffic offenders to settle their fines early. Has this got anything to do with the impending privatisation of the installation and maintenance of hundreds of traffic cameras across the country?

The Edge recently reported the impending privatisation to two obscure local firms, which will be given five-year concessions. The firms will be buying the cameras and other equipment from Germany and Australia.

Under the financial model, the two firms would reportedly be paid a percentage of the fines – but only when the fines are actually paid or collected.

Malaysiakini reported the RTD deputy director-general Ismail Ahmad as saying.

“The concept that we are introducing is that the more you delay, the more you pay, but for offenders who pay quickly, for example within the first two weeks of the compound being issued, they only need to pay RM100.

“But if you delay to within 15 to 30 days, the compound becomes RM150 and if you delay further to 30 to 60 days the compound can become the maximum RM300, depending on the offence,” he said.

He added that an offender will only need to go to court and face the possibility of the maximum fine if they opt for it, fail to pay the compound within 60 days or is a habitual offender where the offence is committed thrice in two months.

Why privatise the traffic cameras in the first place? I suppose the answer to that is obvious.

By all means, if there is proof of corruption in awarding the contract, then get the relevant authorities to investigate and furnish them with the necessary evidence. But please do not shoot down a good idea just because you are biased and prejudiced towards people you do not politically support.

Who knows, our loved ones could be a part of that morbid statistics just because one traffic offender didn’t learn his lessons.

Thank you.