Motorists in the capital pay fines of up to RM10 million yearly for traffic offences, according to a report published today by Bernama.

The Kuala Lumpur Police said that between January and September last year, 22,054 traffic summonses were issued, and 33,836 in 2010, totalling RM10.15 million. Fines incurred last year amounted to RM10.55 million.

Under the Road Transport Act 1987, road users who beat traffic lights have to pay a RM300 fine.

According to City Traffic Police chief ACP Rusli Mohd Noor, the summonses were issued based on camera recordings at traffic light junctions and by traffic police officers stationed on the streets.

The Bernama report states that the alarming figures show that errant motorists are more concerned about reaching their respective destinations on time than their safety. It adds that fines, traffic rules and tragic accidents have done little to change the attitudes of such motorists.

“Many motorists do not follow traffic rules. If motorists follow traffic rules, the roads will be safer for other road users, and it will ease traffic congestion,” Rusli said, adding that those who beat traffic lights endanger the lives of others as well as their own.

“Many people do not understand. If the traffic light turns yellow, road users should slow down and bring their vehicles to a stop.” He urged motorists to “learn to respect other road users too.”

Some have suggested increasing the fines for people who do not follow traffic rules. However, Rusli believes that increasing fines will affect lower income groups.

“Low income groups may stop breaking traffic rules but rich people will continue to break traffic rules and pay fines,” he said.