Friday, November 9, 2012

Selangor suspends AES, says RTD cannot justify speed cameras

Selangor suspends AES, says RTD cannot justify speed cameras

UPDATED @ 12:10:04 PM 09-11-2012
November 09, 2012
Malaysian Insider 
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Selangor has barred the roll out of the controversial Automated Enforcement System (AES) to catch speeding motorists in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state, saying the move is unlawful.
Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said his state administration made the decision yesterday after meeting with the Road Transport Department (RTD).

Selangor has barred AES cameras from being fixed in the state. — Reuters pic
He said the federal government agency had failed to justify the merits of the traffic system to penalise speedsters. “From the briefing, the state government found that the Transport Ministry failed to get the approval to construct the structure for the AES from the local authorities.

“Therefore, the state government will direct all PBT to inform the ministry that the installation of AES has not followed the law and will not be implemented until this matter is amended,” he said in a statement today, using the Malay initials PBT, or pihak berkuasa tempatan, to refer to the local councils.

He added that the state government will appoint an independent body to study the system first to see if the Transport Ministry had considered all necessary procedures before deciding to introduce the AES.

Khalid suggested a review of the concession agreement between the federal government and the two companies contracted to install and run the AES, saying the 17 per cent profit margin was unreasonable.
He said Selangor had proposed that the money from the fines be kept in a trust to be used to fund road safety awareness programmes instead of being pooled into a consolidated account, which would be doled out to the companies in reasonable amounts and allow them to recoup the cost of installing the speed cameras..

“By doing this, the people who pay summonses would be contributing to the nation and not help enrich businessmen,” he said.

The two firms awarded the contract to implement the enforcement system — ATES Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap — will spend between RM300 million and RM400 million each to set up traffic cameras at 831 “black spots” nationwide.

Both ATES and Beta Tegap are entitled to RM16 per valid summons for the first five million issued. They will then split the remaining revenue evenly with the government up to a cap of RM270 million each.

The firms will each receive 7.5 per cent from the remaining revenue and the government will keep the rest.
PR parties have suggested that the companies are linked to the MCA and Umno but this has been vehemently denied.

Apart from Selangor, the other PR-led states such as Kedah, Penang and Kelantan have said they will suspend approval for the AES.

Several influential non-government organisations including the umbrella body representing civil servants, Cuepacs, have also opposed the enforcement, saying the system was not currently suitable.
They also want the government to review the locations where the AES would operate.

The unpopular system that automatically detects speeding motorists and issues fines has also seen growing resistance from Umno grassroots with a blog and Facebook account set up this week to oppose the speed cameras, which could unite voters behind the federal opposition against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at the 13th general election due soon.

A number of BN politicians are also becoming worried about it becoming a major campaign issue in the general election, and want the government to suspend the AES.

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