Cop-shop

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar will soon officially propose to the government to increase traffic fines, The Star reports.

“I believe that increasing the fines can deter road users from violating traffic rules and change their driving attitude,” he told reporters in George Town yesterday. Khalid said it is needed to curb the increase in accidents due to recklessness and poor driving attitude.

The IGP is keen to stick to the force’s plan to increase traffic fines despite Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai saying last Friday that he considered the current level of fines adequate, and that education, the Kejara demerit points system and Automatic Enforcement System (AES) will be more effective in encouraging road safety.

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Kejara and AES are more effective because the amount of fine depends on individuals. A RM150 fine is high to me, but to others, it is still low. Enforcement of Kejara and AES involves suspending the licence of errant motorists, regardless who they are if they continue to violate regulations. If their points reach a level where their licence has to be suspended, then it is a more effective method,” Liow said.

The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) has also weighed in on the issue, saying that an increase in fines by itself is not likely to reduce accidents unless accompanied by stricter enforcement and more road safety campaigns.

“Besides maintaining the RM300 on-the-spot fines for traffic offenders, we should also consider the proposed community work such as collecting rubbish and sweeping the roadside as a form of punishment for the offenders,” MIROS chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye suggested, adding that Malaysia’s traffic laws are good, but not the enforcement.