The ministry of transport (MoT) is considering a merit system that will reward prudent drivers through discounted vehicle insurance, according to The Edge Markets. Transport minister Anthony Loke said that the ministry will start discussions with the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) on this idea.

“The discussion with PIAM will be initiated immediately, and in fact the idea came from PIAM when we had a dialogue with them. We do not want to be seen as just penalising people; we want to make it clear that the main aim is to educate people on their driving behaviours,” Loke said. “Other than imposing a penalty, we want to have a rewarding system to incentivise peoeple to drive prudently,” he added.

Following the government’s taking over of the Automated Awareness Safety System (AWAS) camera operation on September 1, 1,298 summonses were issued in the first two days of the month. Of these, 1,121 summonses were for speed limit offences, while 147 summonses were for non-compliance with traffic light signals.

The government currently operates 45 automated cameras nationwide, of which 29 are speed cameras, with the remaining 16 being red-light cameras. “Our aim is to foster prudent driving behaviour, not to earn revenue, we do not look at it from that perspective. If possible, we hope for revenue from this segment to be zero. We can increase government revenue in many ways, and the tendering of number plates is one of them.”

For speed cameras, there will be three signboards from each camera indicating its presence at 3 km, 2 km and 1 km distances respectively. Traffic light cameras, meanwhile, will have signboards installed between 50 m and 1 km away from the camera. “I want to stress that the main reason for the installation and enforcement of AWAS cameras is to educate and protect drivers, especially when they drive in the operational zones,” Loke said.

The Road Transport Department (JPJ) will be enforcing the laws policed by the AES/AWAS systems without discounts or exceptions, the department said. A traffic light offence carries the penalty of four demerit points for private passenger vehicles and motorcycles, and six demerit points for buses and goods delivery vehicles.

Offences for exceeding the posted speed limit by between one km/h to 25 km/h carry two points and four points respectively, while speeding offences of 25 km/h to 40 km/h above the posted limit will carry a penalty of three points and five points respectively. Finally, offences more than 40 km/h above the posted limit carry four points and six points respectively.

Upon issuance of the summons to the offender, they will have 60 days to pay the RM300 fine or they will need to be present in court. Failure to comply will see the offender blacklisted and incur further KEJARA demerit points.

“There will not be any discount to the compound rate, at least during my tenure as Transport Minister, and no exception will be given to any vehicle,” Loke said. He did, however, add that official vehicles for Malaysian royalty, the prime minister and deputy prime minister are exempt from the system.

“Other vehicles, driven by even the members of the royal family, have to comply with the law. For ministers’ vehicles, when they are issued a summons, (they) have to pay as well, and drivers for those vehicles will face the demerit points,” he said.

In cases were the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner can write back to the ministry to identify the driver of the vehicle at the time of offence, and a new summons will be issued to that driver. “This is because many bus service companies told us about this problem, where their drivers were the offenders, but the company has to be responsible at the end,” he added.