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Technology works only with strict enforcement

  • All this is meant to protect the safety of road users while upholding law compliance. Nevertheless, these measures will only become effective if enforcement is strictly instituted.

Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily

Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department brought in the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system from the United States two months ago, and this sophisticated device has recently been installed on police cars and motorbikes.

Within only one week, some two thousand vehicles have been detected to have unsettled traffic tickets, be blacklisted or have arrest warrants issued on them.

As a matter of fact, the police have earlier this year brought in another Mobile Compound Online Payment System (MCOPS) from the States which allows the police enforcers to issue traffic offense tickets electronically while browsing the background information of motorists during spot checks. Unpaid compounds or criminal offenses will show up instantly with the new system, making it simply impossible for offenders to escape justice.

It appears that PDRM has introduced these state-of-the-art technologies to hunt down over a million motorists refusing to pay their fines. The installation of ANPR on police cars and motorbikes will make scanning of adjacent vehicles a breeze. If a motorist has been put in the police blacklist, he or she will be picked up easily by the device.

It is learned that the ANPR system has helped the CID solve 87 counts of vehicle theft cases only one month into its operation. It looks like ANPR is way more effective in helping the PDRM track down wanted criminals than to actually pursue unpaid traffic tickets.

When a motorist is found to have unsettled traffic tickets, the police will normally issue another ticket to demand the owner to settle the unpaid fines within two months instead of taking immediate action against the offender. Under such circumstances, while some owners may settle their fines dutifully, many others will just choose to ignore.

It has become a norm for Malaysian motorists to ignore traffic offense tickets. More than three million traffic offense tickets have been issued since January this year, of which 1.2 million have yet to be settled in full. Although the police have issued some 833,000 reminder letters to vehicle owners, most of these have fallen on deaf ears.

ANPR only helps in the issuance of compounds, it doesn't seem to work in getting the offenders to settle their fines if motorists remain defiant and unwilling to change their driving habits.

PDRM has resorted to many different strategies to cope with the ever rising number of traffic offenses, and has since 2012 set up AES cameras at 825 locations nationwide, along with the demerit system and more recently ANPR and MCOPS, all meant to protect the safety of road users while upholding law compliance.

That said, these measures will only become effective if enforcement is strictly instituted.

A traffic ticket is issued with the objective of discouraging road users from engaging in hazardous driving habits. However, if the ticket is completely ignored by the offender, the whole thing will be rendered meaningless.

Perhaps the policy of barring vehicle owners with outstanding compounds from renewing their road tax and insurance may force them to settle their dues.

 

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