PETALING JAYA, May 22 — Fancy number plates should be a thing of the past, said road safety advocate Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research chairman said the Road Transport Department (RTD) must come down hard on those using modified plates.
“There has to be intense enforcement on the department’s part to ensure compliance with existing guidelines,” he said.
“The idea is not to antagonise road users. This must be done to ensure the system works and the public is protected,” he said.
Lee was responding to Malay Mail’s front-page report yesterday that revealed the Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras had caught close to 200,000 images of motorists speeding and beating red lights nationwide between Jan 1 and May 15 but only about 43,000 summonses had been issued to date as fancy number plates were among the reasons that made it tough for enforcers to locate vehicle owners.
He was appalled at the high number of offenders, blaming motorists for their poor attitude.
“The figure is alarming... there are so many who still do not follow traffic rules,” he said.
RTD said it was in the midst of conducting feasibility studies over the introduction of high security registration plates.
Its director-general Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron said the high-tech plates would be beneficial to track and provide details and information of the vehicle owner.
“But we are also looking at the cost factor, relevance and effectiveness,” he said.
“We’ve received several proposals by various companies. We are studying them.”
Made of aluminium, the number plates were said to be tamper proof and featured either a unique laser code, UV prints or radio frequency identification chips and hologram. The plates would be secured to a vehicle with the use of a non-removable snap lock.
The rationale behind the need for such high security number plates was to curb cloning of vehicles and to ensure vehicles on the road did not have fancy number plates.
Existing number plates were easily tampered with or removed. This allowed criminals to slap a fake registration plate on vehicles to carry out criminal activities while others modified their number plates for cosmetic purposes which made it difficult to read.
On Jan 15, Malay Mail reported the possibility of number plates embedded with microchips as authorities evaluated ways to put an end to fancy number plates, reducing car thefts and cloning.