Ops Sikap: Attitude vs Enforcement

UPDATE: Good to hear that the police is going all out for those who is speeding on the roads. Hopefully they will find better ways to crack down pesky motorcyclists and enforce the law on those who change lane without putting on the indicators, abuse the emergency lane, hog the roads, etc

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(Caught this video back in 2008 of those who abuse the emergency lane – nothing have changed in 2011. Will we see change of attitude in 2012?)

Read Part 1 & Part 2 first

I thought of replying it under the comment box but looking at the length of my reply, I might as well put it as a reply post:-

Hi Visithra

Thanks for your comments – it is heartening to know that the authorities do take the enforcement serious

I think everyone (me, you, the authorities, etc) do agree on one thing – there is a serious attitude problem with fellow Malaysians when they are on the road (it is the same in every other country as well). I have been saying the same thing too. And I am not saying that that the authorities are not enforcing the law at all but the problem is that they are not doing enough to enforce the law (I will come to the part of “what the solution, then” shortly).

In relation to attitude problem, you ask “why can’t we change?” Good question there but unfortunately there are certain things you can do to call people to change their attitude when they are on the road – organising safety talks, campaigns on mainstream media and public areas, compilation of statistics, etc but it will come to a point where these “soft approach” had done its part. If nothing much changed positively (as evident from Ops Sikap 24 statistics and your comments that no matter what you tell them they go back to doing the same thing), it is high time for the Government to take stronger measures.

It is up to you to advocate the continuation of the soft approach – participate in road safety campaign, give out free helmets (which probably ends up on the motorcycle basket rather than on their head), etc and hopefully one day these road users will see the light at the end of the tunnel and change their attitude.

But seriously, don’t you think that the Government have been doing that for donkey odd years? It may have moved a small percentage of them but a bulk of them seemed to have remained stubborn and unmoved. If this soft approach has been effective, wouldn’t it have worked – even if number of vehicles on the road sky-rocketed? That is my point preciously. Let’s have a look at the statistics (you can “google” them for the sources):-

Deaths in Ops Sikap 21 = 241
Deaths in Ops Sikap 22 = 218
Deaths in Ops Sikap 23 = 199
Deaths in Ops Sikap 24 = 289

Summons issued in Ops Sikap 23 = 167,868
Summons issued in Ops Sikap 24 = 133,808

After the end of Ops Sikap 24 which saw a huge increase of fatality (if number of cars to be blamed, shouldn’t deaths in Ops Sikap 21 – 23 be increasing as well?), it is obvious that they need to relook into these soft approaches and revamp the whole strategy. It is ok if those with serious attitude problems go and kill themselves in road accidents but it does not happen that way – it affect others as well directly or indirectly. It impacts the family, other innocent road users (who were at the wrong place and at the wrong time), and the country as whole.

Just a couple days ago, I witnessed a bus with full load of passengers streaming down the highway at more than 120 km/h weaving in and out of the fast lane – it must be someone’s lucky star that it did not hit anyone and end up killing someone on the road. So how we are going to prevent a repeat this incident? Send all bus drivers to road safety seminar and hope that they will drive safer the next day? Given the fact that bus drivers are driven by the economics of trips per month, I have my doubts that soft approach will cause bus drivers to be slower on the roads. What else can be done?

Let’s say the authorities are indeed serious in enforcing the law but having a problem of unable to be everywhere at the same time – the question is what they are doing about it?

In my last post, I talked about the need for road safety operations to be conducted all around the year (road safety operations here does not means road safety seminars in some posh hotels). And I made my share of the noise when they canceled the plans to increase the fine to RM1,000 – that should have been introduced for hardcore road offenders. Then there were talks of “Automated Enforcement System” at certain hot-spots – are they widening the scope of enforcement? What about those traffic cameras that snaps the photos of those who jump the red light? Surprisingly I don’t see them anymore in most of traffic lights where jumping the red light is a norm.

Most fatalities happened on federal and smaller roads and here, it would be harder to monitor but that does not mean the traffic laws cannot be enforced especially when seeing a motorcyclist on public roads without any helmet. Of course, there will be issue of manpower and resources but the starting cost for these can easily off-set from the summons collected from the traffic offenders and relocation of resources from other areas (as how it is done in battling other crimes with more policemen deployed on the streets).

On my part, whenever possible, I snapshot of those abuse the traffic laws (in particular the emergency lane) and sent them to JPJ for their further action for I believe call for attitude change is a waste of time. If the authorities provide some good incentive for people to be their eyes and ears in catching the road offenders in their act, I am pretty sure that there will be more people helping the authorities and the level of enforcement would be more effective.

These are just some of actions that the government agencies involved in reducing the number of fatalities could do. Such measures are NOT new and I am sure, is not something that they have not thought about. So, what’s stopping them from enforcing it?

I am not saying that we should stop the soft approach completely – there are still new, inexperience drivers coming on board every year. Who knows, it may do good for some of them especially when it is done from school level and up. However, given the fact that the statistics of Ops Sikap 24 which saw higher fatalities compared to Ops Sikap 23, 22, 21, the authorities should also relook into the aspect of enforcement – PDRM & JPJ in particular (leave JKJR to focus on the soft approach). And they need to do this before start of Ops Sikap 25.

Thank you

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