‘Carrot and stick’ approach still best for errant drivers, says transport minister

Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Road Safety Department (JKJR) director-general, Datuk Rosli Isa, and Petronas Dagangan Berhad CEO, Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed, attend the launch of the Petronas Coffee Break CNY Campaign 2019 in Kuala Lumpur February 1, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Road Safety Department (JKJR) director-general, Datuk Rosli Isa, and Petronas Dagangan Berhad CEO, Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed, attend the launch of the Petronas Coffee Break CNY Campaign 2019 in Kuala Lumpur February 1, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

SERDANG, Feb 1 — After suggesting last week that no more discounts would be given for traffic fines, Transport Minister Anthony Loke today maintained that the “carrot and stick” method remains an effective way to educate drivers on road safety.

Loke gave a clear distinction between his “carrot and stick” approach, pointing out that there should not be any compromise for traffic offences. 

“We believe we cannot only use the stick but the carrot as well to entice people (on road safety),” he said at the launch of Petronas Dagangan Berhad’s (PDB) annual Coffee Break road safety campaign at the Petronas Solaris Putra station here.

“Of course, in the last few days, the focus was on my stance to not give discounts on (traffic) summonses. Of course, some people are happy, some used that to whack me, and even the former prime minister has given attention to that.

“But when we talk about carrot and stick, our message must be very clear to the public that if you don’t follow road rules and regulations, you will be penalised,” he said.

Another initiative that Loke intends to implement is rewarding disciplined drivers with discounted vehicle insurance.

He said he has talked to the Malaysian Automotive Insurance Association (PIAM) and is currently waiting for their input on the matter.

“We are waiting for them to come out with the mechanism on how to give the incentives and discounts to premium holders who do not have any outstanding summons with the authorities.

“We hope that we can at least roll this mechanism out by this year,” he said.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke greets motorists after launching the Petronas Coffee Break CNY Campaign 2019 in Kuala Lumpur February 1, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Transport Minister Anthony Loke greets motorists after launching the Petronas Coffee Break CNY Campaign 2019 in Kuala Lumpur February 1, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

Loke also revealed that in 2017, there were 6,740 road fatalities recorded, whereas in 2018, only 6,284 fatalities were recorded.

Despite the reduction, Loke said the ministry is constantly looking at ways to reduce traffic-related deaths.

To promote better road safety during Chinese New Year, PDB’s campaign was launched alongside the National Safest Driver Challenge carried out in collaboration with PLUS Highway, Touch ‘n’ Go and Katsana, a company that manages GPS tracking and fleet management systems.

The Challenge is conducted via DriveMark, a safety mobile application which keeps track of driving behaviour and rewards safe driving actions with positive scores and vice-versa.

Winners of the challenge stand a chance to win two grand prizes of 100,000 Mesra points (equivalent to RM1,000), RM1,000 Touch ‘n Go credit, 10,000 PLUSMiles points and RM10,000 DriveMark Personal Accident Coverage for 12 months.

Loke said such advocacy campaigns are also needed from the private sector to help promote better road safety practices.

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