AES: Why We Really Need Them?


(Another fucking moron on the highway, the fact the idiot is getting too excited whenever he sees a high powered car is beside the point but with speeds in excess of 200 km/h with no cops in sight is clearly endangering other road users. This is where AES can come in very effectively – catching such idiots on camera 24 hours a day and in all weathers. Source: Youtube)

I don’t understand why some people failed to see that it is not an issue of profit but rather an issue of enforcement & road safety.

KUALA LUMPUR: The federal government and the concessionaires stand to collect RM51 billion from traffic summonses should all 831 Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras are installed nationwide, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today.

He also criticised the system for enriching certain individuals at the expense of sorry traffic offenders, saying that no government would try to gauge profits from traffic summonses. “If we did something wrong, you summon us, no problem. But why when issuing summonses, certain individuals are getting profits…” he said.

(Source)

And in response to the above allegation, we have this reply:-

Abdul Rahim in denying allegations that AES operators, Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and Ates Sdn Bhd were capturing images of traffic offenders for profiteering purposes said RTD had the authority to issue summons, not the operators.

He said the government had made certain provisions to control the profits of the AES operators. Abdul Rahim said the operators bore all the cost of supply, installation and maintenance of AES system as well as its upgrade, if necessary. He said the operators were willing to accept losses in the event of less summons issued due to positive changes in the behavior of road users or vandalism risks on their equipment and cameras.

(Source)

But before we go further, we also have this complaint in the papers:-

It was reported that 63,558 offences were captured by 14 cameras over eight days under the Automated Enforcement System (AES). Therefore, on average, each camera recorded 567 offences a day or one in every two and a half minutes. At this rate, a staggering 171,772,650 offences will be captured in a year when all 830 cameras are used.

Can the Road Transport Department issue such a huge number of summonses and are motorists willing to pay? Laws and rules are meant to protect the majority. If a huge number is penalised, then something must be wrong and ought to be changed.

Super cars are treated the same as jalopies as the cameras cannot discriminate between vehicles. Yet in most instances, it would be no more dangerous for a German car to cruise at 160kph than a 660cc car floating at 110kph.

(Source)

When it comes to enforcement, road safety and adherence to traffic rules & ethics, one have to wake up to 2 stark realities in Malaysia

One – we have a serious case of enforcement of traffic rules and this is largely attributed to the shortage of enforcement personals and higher priority and allocation of limited resources on more serious crime. It is a fact that the police cannot be everywhere at the same time and they have better things to do than to waste time and resource to chase someone who has been speeding. Something more effective is needed to address this and the Government has been trying to address this in recent times under its various measures in its NKRA for crime but it is clear that there is still plenty of work to be done before the general public perception of reduction in crime improves.

Two – we have a load of morons who are on the road on daily basis causing inconvenience and posing serious danger to other road users. Don’t get me wrong – they could be the best husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, boyfriend, girlfriend, co-worker, buddies, etc, very charitable, religious and helpful but when they are on the road, they can be a fucking idiot and a pain in the neck to others. And not surprisingly, a large number of them ride a motorcycle. And it does not take long for them to kick a big fuss (with the usual misplaced & lame excuses and often in collusion with opposition politicians who some are waiting to politicize anything under the sun when it comes to Government policies) whenever the Government announces stronger measures to enforce the traffic laws. Still remember when the RM1,000 fine was proposed and then cancelled? It is not an issue of education but rather care-less attitude.

(The basic flow of AES in Malaysia but it is not a perfect system – there is still room for improvement. Image source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com / TheStar)

AES or Automated Enforcement System is not something new. Seeing policemen with speed cameras / radars by the side of the highway has been a norm for many years now and we also had CCTV cameras in certain area of the traffic for monitoring and enforcement purposes. The old method of having a policeman manning the speeding camera has its weaknesses – one obvious weakness is that the policeman cannot man the speeding camera 24 hours and in all weathers (I personally have seen them “closing shop” when it started to rain and things get more dangerous for others). And it is a wrong allocation of resources –  why sit under the umbrella manning speed cameras for hours when the same policeman can be allocated to do street policing work or work on serious crime investigations?

So the mindless oppositions to the implementation of AES has really dumb-struck me. And the fact that opposition politicians joining in road offenders (hmmm, habitual offenders must really be feeling the bite now) in calling for the AES to be on hold is greatly missing the point. Yes, I agree that there may be an issue in awarding the AES contract to a selected few and perhaps there may just be an issue on the computation of the payments to the AES operators but that has nothing to do with the urgent need to have AES in place for enforcement of traffic rules. Politicians (from all sides) should stress the need for better and effective enforcement methods – one that will take out the man in blue from mundane enforcement work and into more important effective policing work.

They can still voice their concern on the implementation of AES but it has to be with the right focus and questions.

Enriching the Few Allegations

Lim Guan Eng’s contention that the system is enriching certain individuals at the expense of sorry traffic offenders is sorely misplaced. Firstly the system only works if there are traffic offenders. If no one breaks the law (existing laws and not one that was created out of the blue), no summons would be issued and no “individuals” would be enriched “unnecessarily”. It’s dumb to say that the system is designed to enrich only certain individuals (and not for enforcement of traffic laws). Secondly what he meant by “sorry” traffic offenders? If you break the law, you can utter all the sorry you want but at end of the day, you need to pay for the offence.

Rocky’s Bru in his post rightfully call some people including Guan Eng a moron and in this case, they are. Some people simply don’t just get it – AES burdens the traffic offenders, not the taxpayers (same case as the RM1,000 fine but then it was politicized and wrongly portrayed as burdening the tax-payers).

There is a proper place and time to politicize certain issues but not on the measures that actually enforces the traffic laws and one have proven to reduce accidents in a positive way. If these politicians who are opposing AES have a better way to improve the enforcement of traffic laws and reduce the number of fatalities, they should come forward with their ideas. Unfortunately there has been none to date except complaints and allegations on AES.

Educate, Not Punish?

Elsewhere some argues that AES is simply the wrong method deployed to educate the drivers who flaunt on traffic rules. They are arguing that educating drivers must be the priority of the authorities and the authorities should not be focusing on the punishment of the said drivers.

But this is where I don’t understand on why there is a need to “re-educate” the traffic offenders. Unless there some element of “duit kopi“, didn’t they go to driving school and sat for driving test? Have they now become way too stupid to understand that red light means stop or driving more than 110 km/h means the car is driven more than the regulated speed limit? Have they now become way too stupid to read the various warning posted by the authorities by the side of the road and continued to ignore them? If they are, then they should not be allowed to handle a vehicle in the first place (you did not see “Forrest Gump” driving a car, did you?)

You can focus on all the re-education that you want and until the fat lady sings perhaps but I can tell you now that nothing whatsoever will change. This is because the issue at hand is not due to lack of education (people are not that dumb) but rather it is due to attitude problem. These people know that due to lack of enforcement, they can get away with it. There is a clear lack of the perception of being caught and this is why some of the traffic offenders are repeated offenders and that is why AES caught 63,558 offences within one week. Imagine the number of offences committed in areas where the police are not around or AES is not in operation.

At end of the day, if nothing changes, alternative methods must be deployed especially when dealing with habitual offenders. Don’t bother to waste time with calls for education. Some morons will only change their ways when you hit them where it pains them the most – on their wallet, when their driving license is cancelled and when they are banned from driving. For some, punishment can be a powerful form of education too.

(The use of ANPR or Automatic Number Plate Recognition in the UK to detect and remove serious criminals, unsafe vehicles and unsafe drivers from our roads. Yes, they actually seize the car in addition to giving the driver the summons. In Malaysia, we are still being soft on criminals on the road – we don’t seize the unsafe or uninsured vehicles on the spot. Source: Youtube)

Big Car, Small Car Distinction

“Super cars are treated the same as jalopies as the cameras cannot discriminate between vehicles. Yet in most instances, it would be no more dangerous for a German car to cruise at 160kph than a 660cc car floating at 110kph”.

So what? What is the writer’s contention? That the fat rich guy in the big car can break every traffic rules in the book but the poor guy in the small car must strictly adhere by the rules?

When the authorities set the speed limit on a certain length of the road, it is meant for all vehicles – small, big, expensive, cheap, etc. A German car that flies on the fast lane at 160kph kills the same and causes the same bloody mess as the 660cc car floating at 110kph. Technology makes a big difference in terms of safety and comfort to the occupant of the car but it should not make any difference in the eyes of the law. So stop making this big car, small car distinction – it does not any make sense as it does not make things safer for other road users. The treatment of the law must be equal on all.

Talking about speed limit, it is imperative that we need to have a comprehensive study whether the existing speed limits is reasonable given the current status of traffic, road condition and the types of cars that uses the road. If one stretch of road allows you to drive up to 110 km/h but at the very next corner, the speed goes down drastically to say 60 km/h, one need to study whether enough time, notice and room have been given for the driver to slow down to 60 km/h.

What Need to Focus on AES Instead?

We need the AES but in the same case of highways (we need them too), we do not want it to be turned out an economical burden.

We do not want the Government to end up paying millions of ringgit in compensation due to reduced number of summons collected or issued. It happened for highways too – we welcomed the construction of the highways and even know why we pay toll but what we question is the substantial increase in toll charges and the huge compensations paid especially when it is clear that there is also a substantial increase of vehicles using the highway. We question the toll concessionaires’ agreement which is shrouded in secrecy and attempts to view them are met with unbelievable opposition and threats.

We want the politicians to vet the AES contract with greater scrutiny and to ensure that the slip-ups that happened in highway concessionaires’ agreement do not appear in AES agreements. We do not want to end up paying higher summons rates or pay millions of compensation even with high number of summons issued. And this is what the politicians should be focusing on. Keep the implementation of AES intact but ensure that tax-payers money is well protected from any future compensation or bail-outs.

Then we have this:-

The two local contractors handling the Automated Enforcement System (AES) may have paid RM404 million more for the speed cameras.

Anti-Saman Ekor Campaign (KASE) legal adviser Zulhazmi Shariff said today that a Transport Ministry parliamentary reply indicated that the private companies implementing the project for the government, namely Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and A.T.E.S. Sdn Bhd, had invested RM717 million in the nationwide project.

“From what we found from a filing to the Australian Security Exchange dated Dec 19, 2011, Redflex had announced that it has obtained a contract worth more than USD50 million (RM151 million) to install 450 fixed cameras and 140 mobile cameras for Beta Tegap,” he said, showing copies of the filings of both companies which he obtained online. For Jenoptik Robot, he said the company had announced that it was receiving USD53 million (RM160 million) to install 550 cameras for A.T.E.S. He said the price included implementation and comprehensive support for five years.

Zulhazmi, who is also a PAS member, said this totalled to about RM312 million spent, which was RM404 million less than the RM717 the local companies had invested. “That would make the difference of RM404 million. Why such a high mark up price? “This is pure earning for these companies. Why didn’t the government buy these technologies directly?” he asked.

(Source)

The Government is saying that they or the taxpayers are not paying anything for the hardware and the implementation as it is outsourced to the 2 private companies (who will also bear the costs). So who cares if the companies paying more than what is needed – it is not our money in the first place but is there any implications on the computation of payments to the 2 private companies from the summons collected? Or worse, what happens if the Government is going to “reimburse” the companies at a later point of time for the same hardware? What is the amount we going to pay in the end? We are interested to know this.

(Traditional traffic law enforcement relies exclusively on the presence of an officer to observe violations and identify and cite offenders. Obviously, this limits the effectiveness of traffic law enforcement because police cannot be everywhere. An automated enforcement system fills this gap in enforcement. Source: Youtube)

But AES Still Needs Improvement

There are clear merits on implementing AES and issue of cost aside, AES on it’s own is not perfect and does not cover all aspect of traffic enforcement especially when it comes to enforcement on motorcyclists and heavy vehicles. At the moment, it only covers excessive speeding and running the red lights and it is a good start but it is not enough. A bulk of the fatality involves motorcyclists and a good number of them ride around without helmet, speeding off with any care for red lights, weaving in and out of lanes without any indicators and riding against traffic.

The truth is AES is not designed to work alone – that is very clear from the start. It is designed to work as part of a bigger, comprehensive enforcement system which involves the enforcement agencies and other sub-systems like speed camera, CCTVs and public information. We still need the police, RTD and the local authorities to do their share of the enforcement which includes mobile speed trap, road blocks and patrols. We also need to ensure the various databases from the various departments (police, RTD, National Registration Department, etc) are well integrated so that information is readily made available for all arms of the enforcement agencies any time, any place.

At end of the day, we just want to drive from A to B without the need to be fear or be inconvenient from other road users. As such, we need systems like the AES to be widely used to stem the abuse of traffic rules. And it was good to know that the Government are strict on implementing AES and will not back off from the unfounded oppositions to AES for the time being. That is what all traffic law abiding road users wants also, I am pretty sure.

Advertisements

Living Longer


(A food for thought but it is bad news for me if there are more people on the road early in the morning)

(We all need our 8 hours of sleep – sometimes more – but waking up early has it’s advantages too. Image source: here)

I had an interesting chat with a colleague of mine almost a month ago who noticed me coming to office very early in the morning. He mentioned that by doing that I would be living longer by doing this.

I had forgotten about it until last week, when I read Glenn Bland’s Success – The Glenn Bland Method and there was an interesting passage on leaving to work early.

Today, I arise each morning at 5.30 and slowly begin to prepare myself for the day.

As the shower’s warm relaxing water flows over my body, I had formed the habit of thinking good thoughts. I look forward to the day with the great expectancy that good things are going to happen. I slowly eat a moderate breakfast and drive to the office arriving at 6.30.

Going to office at this hour of the day creates within you a tremendous feeling of power and authority. The beauty and peace of the early morning hours become a part of you. You literally feel that you are out in front of everyone else and you are!

In the olden days, when our forefathers were confined to agriculture, they will wake up very early to milk the cow and collect the eggs for breakfast and for sale before leaving for the farm to work on the land all day long. In the modern days, we no longer need to wake up early to work on the farm but we nowadays wake up early to avoid the insane traffic jams. I guess that is the “curse” of the modern world – better technology to ease our activities but in the same process increased our stress level.

No doubt, I am losing some sleeping hours by waking up too early and it may sound like a workaholic when others see me coming in early in the morning and late in the evening. But admittedly, the stress level is certainly at all time low because I leave the house early. I nowadays enjoy the music better and with fewer cars on the road, I arrived in a rather calm mode (except instances where some pesky motorcyclists wanting to be under my wheels so early in the morning). The air in the morning still fresh and I enjoy winding down the window and enjoying the fresh breath of air.

In the early years, when I used to wake up late and then rush to work – stress level is all time high and that usually get me in near fights with other motorists. Like one instance when I was queuing up after paying the toll when I noticed a queue jumper. I was like a possessed demon when I saw this queue jumper. For no good reason, I cut out and blocked this queue jumper. I kept blocking him until he was forced to join back to the correct lane. In that instance, I was lucky. The queue jumper was probably too scared to confront me and decided not to hit or overtake me. I may not been so lucky in the next time around – the next, I may be confronted by hardcore criminals with fatal consequences.

And in the journey to the office, I would be cursing those queue jumpers and road hoggers and that was not doing any good for my karma. And as I arrive in the office most of the time so stressed out, it does not go down that well with the rest of the day. Body aches and getting sick was prevalent – it comes and goes without warning.

But thankfully that was history. In my endeavor to beat the traffic jam (and avoid another close encounter with queue jumpers), I forced myself to wake up early and in doing so, I managed to avoid the usual queue jumpers and other “pests” on the road. It was not easy to wake up early – at first, I had 2 alarms to wake me up but nowadays, I can wake up before the alarm goes off. I can now afford to take my breakfast on a casual pace and whenever necessary, enough time for a quick nap before starting work.

So, what my colleague said last month make sense – he said that I am probably live longer with me taking the trouble to wake up early. There is less stress and something in the morning makes me “feeling of power and authority”

Read Also

2010 Reflection: Sorry, I’m An Idealist

Punctuality

9 Reasons to Wake Up Early

Open Letter to Datuk Suret Singh


(My usual rant of the irresponsible road users that I have encountered after coming back from a long holiday, so please bear with me)

(The face behind many road safety campaign – Datuk Suret Singh of Road Safety Department. Image source: http://protonexoraclub.blogspot.com)

Dear YB Datuk

I was not sure at first, who I should address this letter to since whenever we have major accidents on the road; too many people in high position open their mouth and want to be the champion for road safety in the country. There will be calls for stricter enforcement, others, to review the condition of the roads and vehicles but soon enough, such calls would die down and it will be back to business until the next tragedy.

Last week, I had a friend from overseas over at my house and we caught you in the news, making spot checks on express buses  – you looked unhappy and seemed to be pissed off with the conditions of the buses. My friend upon seeing you told me that you looked tough, just the right person to check on whether traffic laws are followed. So, I guess, you would be the right person for me to bring up this.

In the past few months, you have been in the limelight when it comes to improving the safety of users on the road. Early this year, you even said that drivers who stop their vehicles to gawk at accident scenes can be issued summonses and there were many of us, applauded such calls. It was high time; the enforcement part of the law is strongly enforced on road offenders.

But before I proceed further, it will good if you could take a look at the below video and couple of photos (I have more in my collection, all of which, will promptly be handed over to JPJ for their action in due course).

Have you ever seen an express bus that is not only speeding above the speed limit but also using the emergency lane rather dangerously? No? Yes? All the time? Here’s one for the record – BLB 6396.

You tell me if this is how things are handled despite the recent horrific 28 deaths and during on-going Ops Sikap (which incidentally means Operation Attitude), how do you expect to reduce accidents involving public buses? Why bother having undercover JPJ enforcement agents riding along the bus? When you have speed demons who not only endangering their life with such reckless act but also of their passengers, it will not be a big surprise to see another 28 bodies lies on the tarmac.

And to show how blatant and irresponsible people are in place of lack of enforcement, just count the number of vehicles (including one from another country) abusing the emergency lane? Where is the enforcement of the highway laws? And the video here only shows a small portion of the highway where emergency lane ended up as the “fast lane” where one probably would wonder when PLUS opened a new lane.

And Datuk, considering the field that you are in, you would understand why I have been highlighting about these emergency lane offenders every time I came back from the holidays. Others may wonder why I take the trouble highlighting these “criminals” in emails, blogs, video blogs, etc. It is not like I am getting paid for it or getting some discounts or getting a kick for fun.

And I am pretty sure these offenders would have their day to answer for their inconsiderate act of “troubling” others and putting others in danger. It is rather easy to ignore the traffic that had formed on the emergency lane and just concentrate on the road ahead; hoping that the traffic jam that had formed without notice would just go away and one can be on their way without further delay, apprehension and waste of time and fuel.

I would have done the same if not for this:-

You see, in a 2 lane highway that passes by numerous exits and entries, a 3rd improvised lane is bound to create bottle necks at some point when those who using the new lane have to cut over and return back to the proper lane (often due to police block or broken down vehicle and not because they feeling guilty about it). And there is where the problem starts for other road users. who been patiently been treading the legal lanes.

The idiots (sorry to use this word but I am sure you will share our frustrations) at the emergency lane cut into the slow lane which causes the traffic on the slow lane to slow down even further. And when the slow lane becomes slow, some of us have to contend with moving into the fast lane which ends up as another slow lane.

Ok, never mind us – we still have the legal lane to contend to but what about the people who really need to use the emergency lane. With these traffic offenders speeding through the emergency lane at speeds exceeding 100 km/h, it has become too dangerous for anyone with a broken down vehicle to even park at the emergency lanes. Just imagine the scenario – you hear a weird sound from your car and the sound seems to get only louder. You decided that it is not safe to continue to drive, so you pull over and stop at the emergency lane. You walk behind the car to inspect on something and you suddenly hear a screeching noise and before you know it, a car slams you and pin you between the two cars.

And of course, I don’t need to highlight the use of the emergency lane for the fire & rescue and ambulance service when there is major accident on the highway. Just imagine the precious minutes wasted stuck behind these idiots who clog up the emergency lane for their own personal abuse. If someone dies due to delay of rescue vehicles, will these emergency lane offenders be charged with manslaughter?

So Datuk, as you can see, there is no point educating the general public on traffic rules – you only going to get traffic rules broken on a regular basis. There is no point making the necessary research on how to make the roads and vehicles safer. You are only going to waste time and money and given the conditions of the roads and vehicles in Malaysia, they are already above the condition of some countries with lower fatality rate than Malaysia.

The only way to ensure road users abide by the rules is to improve on the enforcement of the rules. As I watched the many traffic rules offenders abusing the emergency lane as I was traveling back, my only regret is that there was no enforcement officers on sight. There was no road blocks, there was no traffic policemen chasing and booking these traffic offenders – too bad, we could have made the killing in summons. There was nothing to stop the abuse. Perhaps summons have became too cheap for these frequent, hardcore traffic offenders. Perhaps getting home early was more important than being considerate and safe on the road.

Datuk, I am pretty sure you will share my concern here and I hope in the course of heading the Road Safety Department to be more efficient, you would look deeply into the area of enforcement and ways to tighten the loopholes. Change of attitude can also happen due to the thick, long stroke of the cane.

Thank you

Yours sincerely

(A frustrated highway user)

Mana Helmet, Bodoh?


They say a picture paints a thousand words….so does photographic evidence

(Lawless in Tenang or stupidity on the highest level? The fatso in the front seems very happy – I wonder how his parents will feel when this fatso is knocked down by a car and his unprotected head cracks open on the hard surface of the road, turning him into a living vegetable for rest of his life? Image source: NST, Rosdan Wahid – 29 Jan 2011)

Young but extremely stupid – on public roads without helmets and with pillion riders. Will the police take action on these morons or will they close one eyes since the morons are “flying” the BN flags? These idiots on the motorcycle are obviously students – so where did their common sense and education went once they sat on the motorcycle?

And what about their irresponsible parents? Still remember Aminulrasyid Amzah who sneaked from the house, stole his sister’s car, did a hit and run which caused the police to give chase and at the end, died in a hail of bullets? Most pointed their fingers at the police but what about the deceased and his parents?

I really wonder how these parents can allow their children to go off in a motorcycle without any helmets. They must be either stupid (they too don’t wear helmet), careless (don’t really care what happens to their kids) or simply ignorant (the usual “it is only nearby” excuse)

Still think increase of traffic summons unfair?

Read Also

Stubborn of the Stubborn

Entertaining Criminals

Pesky Motorcyclists

Unnecessary Provocations


Perhaps it was the one of the ways God test our patience…

(The “usual” queues at the toll plaza – the traffic moves faster if everyone queues up and wait for their turn. Imagine what happens if one idiot decides to drive between the proper queues and tries to cut in. Before you know it, another line had formed in between the 2 original lines and the traffic comes to a crawl. Image source: http://www.mobshare.in)

One of my “targets’ for this year is to keep my cool on the road – unfortunately, it was easier said than done.

I had to leave office early one day last week – I had to take my HEO to the clinic – and I know immediately that my journey back home would not be so stress-free. I know that the traffic jam would be insane and there would be plenty of motorists out there who don’t give a damn on traffic laws, simple courtesy or a sense of common sense and whether they were inconvenience to others and cared if they have caused the traffic jam even worse.

The traffic towards to the toll plaza was not so bad – there was easily identified queues formed at the toll plaza although it is high time for the toll operator to put up traffic cones to control the queue jumpers. I just needed to pick my line and patiently wait for my turn. Things was not so bad – the line was still moving albeit slowly. There were queue jumpers (as usual) but thankfully it did not happen to my lane. The queue jumpers has just made the other lane worse and brought it to a crawl and they are now itching to shift to the lane that did not have any queue jumpers and still moving.

It was still early in the evening as I paid the stressful looking lady at the toll booth and queued up on the lane that was merging with another lane which itself was merging with another at the front. Respectfully, the merging point was done quiet orderly – each lane took their turn to join and kept the lane moving on an orderly pace.

Not the idiot in a white Myvi at the back of my lane – she saw the small gap between the 2 lanes and suddenly pulled out to overtake the rest. She did not got far as the two lanes was quiet close to each other and there was no room to cut in further but by her idiotic act (she only managed to overtake 2 cars) she managed to slowed the 2 lanes down and for a moment, there was standstill (with domino effect to the traffic jam at the back).

Other drivers took a long look at this driver – we did not know what she intended to achieve with the queue jumping stunt in that small area. You tell me, how to keep cool when you are facing drivers like this – nothing much achieved but only to irritate others and make the traffic jam even worse. Despite the stares that this idiot was getting from the other drivers, this idiot was only interested in queue jumping again. Upfront she did it again.

I am pretty much lost with the logic – perhaps this driver was hoping to queue jump 1 – 2 drivers all the way, she could hope to jump ahead of the whole insane traffic jam. Ya, if I was that selfish driver, it would make sense. Who cares about others as long as I could get home probably 5 minutes earlier, right? 5 minutes earlier for this selfish idiot but half an hour for the rest who follow the rules? Yes, life is unfair but it does not mean the guilty one should be left to enjoy the fruit of their “crime”.

The good thing was that although the journey home remained challenging but it was not as bad as the situation at the toll plaza. There was less “provocations” at this part of the road.

Stubborn of the Stubborn


Some still don’t get it, don’t they?

Let’s recap something that was highlighted way before the holidays:-

Traffic offenders will no longer be given discounts on police summons fines beginning from Monday.

According to an internal directive issued to all traffic police divisions today, traffic offenders will have to pay the compound fines according to the computer generated summonses and appeals for discounts or waivers will no longer be entertained.

(Source)

The Road Transport Department (RTD) received 26,880 picture-attached complaints through the Multimedia Messaging System (MMS) from the public who managed to catch traffic offenders on mobile cameras.

(Source)

Despite this, there are “heroes” out there really, really thought that they could get away with it.

Perhaps they thought that they can get away with it since they have the inside “contact” to fix things up for them. Perhaps they thought no one was looking (or rather looking with a camera). Perhaps they underestimated the curse of the ordinary, law abiding road users. They are stubborn to the core. These are the people who don’t think twice of committing any traffic offence but make the loudest noise when the Government comes hard on the trouble makers and stands firm on blacklisting the repeated offenders.

The trip up North started really, really early at home. I woke up at 3 in the morning, my wife almost an hour later and by 4.30 in the morning, we were already hit the road with my son and my 80 year old grandmother at the passenger seat. Despite it being the first day of Raya, we were confident of a smooth travel up North (the real traffic jam would have started days before the first day of Raya). True to my instinct, travel was indeed smooth – the R&R was full packed as usual – and before long, we reached our destinations in time for a hot thosai and a kurang manis teh tarik (perfect breakfast after a long trip).

Kudos to PLUS and the police for managing the traffic for the holidays – it was not something easy to do.

And another…

That very night, we decided to visit a relative in Bukit Mertajam and just when we reached the Juru, a small traffic jam started to form (there was an accident as we found out later).

Immediately, couple of heroes started to cut into the emergency lanes and continued to speed on. I wonder what pushes ordinary drivers to suddenly turn into selfish, arrogant and indiscipline bastards and start abusing the emergency lane as a quick mean to cut queue over law abiding road users. Sometimes I am simply speechless.

What if there was a major accident on the highway and emergency units had to use the emergency lane? There must be a good reason why emergency lane is named “emergency” lane instead of “queue cutting” lane, right?

And another…

On the way back to city on Sunday, traffic was not that bad – I guessed 99% of the drivers on the road well behaved.

At this point, one must also thank the police for the strict enforcement throughout the journey. Despite that, we still had some stubborn drivers abusing the emergency lane but overall, quality of driving by majority of highway users have improved a lot. Surprisingly despite the higher number of cars on the road this time around, I found driving more relaxing and less tiring. If everyone follows the traffic rules, driving can indeed be a pleasant one.

Oh by the way, rest assured that high resolution photos of the “heroes” caught on camera will be duly handed over to JPJ for their further “action”.

Read Also

Scumbags at Emergency

Emergency Lane Offenders

Entertaining Criminals


Still want to give a dim hope to criminals on the road to continue their crime?

(Traffic offenders are not only a major nuisance on the road but they are also dangerous to others. I don’t see the point of giving leniency towards repeated offenders. Image source: http://www.cartoonstock.com)

From theStar:-

The Cabinet has decided to lift from now until Feb 28 next year, the blacklisting system which bans traffic offenders who fail to pay their summonses from renewing their licences and road tax, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha.

He said, however, traffic offenders would still have to clear their existing summonses either by installment or full payment.

When I was in overseas, traveling from the hotel to the customer’s office was a frightening experience – 2 lanes of cars would soon turn into 3 lanes with queue jumpers trying to force their way through, many of speeding cars cut lanes without any indication whatsoever, stopping at the red light is almost non-existence, cars continue to speed on despite heavy traffic ahead, motorcyclist not wearing helmet cutting in and out of traffic and pedestrians crossing major highways and expecting the cars to stop.

Each day, traveling was akin to a suicide mission – we did not know whether we will be involved in an accident or we will run over someone. We have the same in Malaysia but the occurrence of people breaking traffic rules is much smaller than the one I saw when I was in overseas. This in fact, I hate to say this, makes Malaysian drivers coming out looking like angels. But should we be happy that we fared better than some drivers in some backward 3rd world countries? Shouldn’t we be striving to be better?

Since this issue came into the limelight, the call for lenience against the (repeated) offenders has been, unfortunately, spearheaded by the oppositions. But recently the Government also seems to be getting soft too but thankfully they did not go down in the same dirt road as the oppositions. They still insist the road traffic offending buggers to pay up. This is good and it is in the right direction too. This is what the rest of the traffic law abiding citizen wants to see – making the road traffic offenders pay for their offences.

For those who been calling for leniency, they seem to have failed to ask this simple question – why the drivers are blacklisted in the first place?

What is the number of genuine mistakes in issuing the summons against the number of actual drivers breaking traffic rules? I can safely bet that the number of mistakes in issuing the summons would be very small compared to the idiots who make breaking traffic rules and being a pain in the neck for the rest on a regular basis. So, if you broke the traffic laws, you must be made to pay.

And when you find some buggers still roaming the roads with plenty of unpaid summons, don’t you feel that they are laughing aloud at the law and the enforcement agencies? How do you force them to pay? Blacklisting them from renewing their license and road tax is one way. Nabbing at the middle of the night and throwing them into prison is another. For now, the government have decided to give some breathing space for these criminals to pay up on their offences.

When it comes to February 28 and when the blacklisting system is enforced again, the government should relook into the list of the offenders and see how many of them are repeated offenders and still having unpaid summons. And if they find that there are still stubborn ones in the list, they should look at the next course of action – something more “persuasive” than just blacklisting them. The last thing we need is traffic offenders still on the road, causing problem for others.