Don’t hold your breath, minister says of traffic fine discounts

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the government must be strict in not offering discounts as it would be unfair to those who obeyed the rules and settled their fines. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the government must be strict in not offering discounts as it would be unfair to those who obeyed the rules and settled their fines. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook reiterated today the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will not discount Automatic Awareness Security System (Awas) summonses issued by the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

Responding to Datuk Hasbullah Osman (BN-Gerik) who claimed these were burdensome to the people, Loke explained that penalties were meant to be painful as they were aimed at discouraging road users from repeating their offences.

“Moreover, the government has provided amnesty to fines totalling over RM430 million under the Automated Enforcement System (AES) since 2012 until August 31, 2018.

“We decided to write it off. Isn’t that part of our effort to help the rakyat especially those with outstanding summonses by reducing their burden?” he said during Minister Question Time in Dewan Rakyat here.

Awas was previously known as the AES prior to the RTD takeover.

Loke added the government must be strict in not offering discounts as it would be unfair to those who obeyed the rules and settled their fines.

“If we give discounts, they (offenders) will wait because they know the government is being lenient.

“The point is if we are not fair and strict with all, then more will disobey existing regulations,” he added.

He said the proportion of speeding offences that led to fatal accidents has fallen from 24 per cent to 13 per cent following the introducing of AES cameras.

“There’s also an increase in terms of compliance of drivers to the speed limit, from 63 per cent to 95 per cent in areas where the cameras are installed,” he said.

To a supplementary question by Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (PAS-Kubang Kerian) whether the government intended to address the overlapping agencies that enforce traffic rules, Loke said it was a “good” suggestion which the government was working on and a study was being conducted.

“I hope when it comes to the implementation, later on, Kubang Kerian and others in the Opposition will give their full support.

“We agree that it should be streamlined so that the people are not confused by the various enforcement agencies,” he said.

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