Friday, 23 November 2012

Obey speed limits

IT is rather surprising if you compare the statement by Road Transport Department (JPJ) deputy director-general Datuk Ismail Ahmad on Oct 5 that there are adequate signs to warn motorists of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras at 14 locations nationwide with the current situation that those caught without warning must still pay.

I disagree that those caught without warning must still pay since the Road Transport (Camera-Recorded Offences) Rules 2012 was clearly amended to make it compulsory for signs to be erected to warn motorists of cameras to detect speeding and at traffic lights.

Cameras are installed to be able to zoom in on the faces of the drivers who commit traffic offences as evidence that they were the ones behind the wheel at the time the offence was committed.

If you commit the offence, you pay because the camera and video images are unquestionable evidence.

Therefore, it is impractical to pay without this unquestionable piece of evidence.

I agree that AES is meant to save lives, to discipline drivers and to reduce casualties but there are many flaws that need to be addressed.

Every camera will be preceded with warning signs to ensure that road users do not fall into the “speed trap” because the cameras are meant to slow the drivers at accident prone areas.

Perhaps that explains why in some places the AES warning signs are missing. Even when there is a warning sign, it does not come with the speed limit sign.

However all speed traps, including those set up by the police, must now have warning signs alerting motorists of the cameras ahead.

Signboards must also be put up before traffic light junctions to warn road users of cameras that would capture images of those who beat the red light.

Also, it is a positive confirmation given by Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order director Comm Datuk Salleh Mat Rasid that police officers had been told to carry out enforcement operations in the open and members of the public are urged to inform the police district headquarters if they came across policemen hiding behind bushes or trees during operations.

The AES has been proven to reduce accidents in place like Britain where the use of the AES had resulted in a 42% decrease in deaths and serious injuries within four years.

Malaysia’s accident rate is 4 persons/10,000 vehicles and the aim is to reduce this to 2 persons/10,000 vehicle.

I believe it’s the time for all motorists to begin to respect speed limits.



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