Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Discount for traffic offence should be a permanent policy - 07/12/2010

In a move to reduce the backlog of summonses before embarking on the exercise to blacklist traffic offenders from Feb 28, discount for police summonses was announced last week.

Traffic offenders are given a 50% discount if they settle their summonses within two weeks. Those who pay up after the two-week grace period but by the end of the month will get a 30% discount.

Last evening YB Fong Po Kuan (MP for Batu Gajah), YB Thomas Su (SA for Pasir Pinji), Alicia (Thomas’s political secretary) and I made a visit to the Ipoh traffic police center, after having received public complaint about the long wait to check or pay traffic summonses.

We arrived at about 4.30pm and saw a big queue at the traffic police center. Many had been waiting for over 2hours before the police personnel l could attend to their problem.

We observed that at any one time only 2 counters were opened.

Such a situation is not satisfactory and the Police should have more counters to attend to the public.

In fact, the Police should have been more prepared for the big queue before making the discount policy announcement.

From our inquiry with the police, for all summonses issued, photographs will be made available if so asked for provided:-

1) the offence committed is within the Ipoh area

2) for out station areas one has to write to the relevant area of commission of offense

In any case a charge of Rm10 would be levied.

Although the discount policy has invited some criticism that it will give the wrong message that traffic summon has become a” bargainable product”, it is a practical and necessary measure which is welcomed by the majority of the public.

It is undeniable that a large percentage of traffic offenders do not pay their traffic summons promptly and it is therefore important for the authorities to look into this problem.

While the Home Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has rightly pointed out that some public have complained about not receiving their summonses, there are other important factors.

Firstly, the cost factor.

While there is a tendency to believe that harsher penalty can deter drivers from committing traffic violations, summonses which are not affordable will result in many offenders choosing not to pay up or pay promptly.

Secondly, are the speed limits on the highways and roads practical?

For any driver who has to travel frequently on the highway or roads, it is almost impossible that he will not receive any speeding summon at all in his whole life.

In fact, it is getting more common to find divers who receive at least a few traffic summons a year for speeding offence.

Discount policy was announced on past occasions to clear backlog.

But clearly this is not a solution.

The announcement of such policy ha s always caused huge disappointment to offenders who have made prompt payment.

There is also concern that such policy will encourage future offenders to adopt a wait and see attitude so as to enjoy the benefits of the discounts.

As such, I call on the authorities to make the discount for summonses a permanent policy so as to avoid more backlogs of summonses as well as not to be accused of unfair treatment by those who pay promptly.

1 comment:

  1. Same method was applied before 2008 GE by BN Govt. Its clearly shows that BN desperate for money,and next GE around the corner.

    If can provide discount now why not before and what will happen to the warrant of arrest issued?

    The authorities too sleeping on it without proper action.

    Well done BN.