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Looks like the government will not be clearing the backlog of outstanding offences gathered throughout the pilot phase of the Automated Enforcement System (AES), after all. According to a report by theSun, over 1.6 million traffic offences logged by said system may be nullified.

The English-language daily has “reliably learnt” that the ones in power are likely to write-off the pending charges and the accompanying total of around half a billion ringgit in collectable fines that have been accounted for since September 2012. Sources have told the publication that the government is prepared to drop the offences and move straight on into implementing the second phase.

“Action under the pilot stage is plagued by a technicality arising from the evidence gathering process which was not done by enforcement officers. The first party at the AES control centres, who had collated the high resolution photos of the alleged traffic offences, were staff of private companies,” the source disclosed.

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“The first party role to gather the evidence should have been (carried out) by police or Road Transport Department enforcement officers and not private company staff. This is the cause of a legal setback,” added said source. Said idle court cases appear to have hindered the implementation of the second phase – the new phase is to be helmed by agencies under the Malaysian Ministry of Transport.

“The massive number of outstanding court cases under AES phase one is like monkeys on the government’s back. We need to get it off now to avoid AES becoming a sunken ship,” said a senior government official. As for those who have settled their summonses, the official said that “the government could return the fines paid to prove that AES is not a money-making exercise but a real programme for saving lives on the road.”

From September 2012 to April 30 2015, a total of 1.91 million AES summonses were issued with only 264,750 of the total settled – a total of RM76,647,750 in fines have been collected. The second phase of the AES system is set to encompass a total of 262 locations nationwide by end 2015. Cameras will be mounted mostly at signalled intersections this time round to help curb red light running violations.