Malaysians are generally educated, law abiding and gentle; but, many are transformed to fearless and reckless drivers when they are in the driver seat where they do not care for the safety of other road users. If you did not know, there were more than 500,000 road accidents in 2016 where 7,000 people died!!!
Why is it that the accident rate in Malaysia is so damn freaking high? Well, in my humble opinion, it’s because the drivers are not punished when they break the law.
The worst is that politicians in the “opposition parties” condone that the Rakyat breaks the law. For example, few years ago, the Federal Government tried to implement the Automated Enforcement System (AES) throughout Malaysia but many States, especially those controlled by the opposition objected to it. Therefore, up to date, there are only 14 AES permanent cameras in operation throughout the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, mostly at highways where the states do not have jurisdiction.
Another reason why those who regularly break traffic laws are not taken off the road is due to lack of coordination between law enforcement agencies.
Did you know that Sistem Kesalahan Jalan Raya (KEJARA), a demerit point system, has been in existent since 1997 under Sections 35, 35A, 37 and 38, the 1987 Road Transportation Act and the Motor Vehicles (Demerit Points) Rules 1997. Below are the demerits points for various traffic offenses:
District Traffic Police may set up speed traps occasionally to catch those breaking the law (but if you are a regular user of a particular road, you would know the time and location of the speed traps plus if you use Waze, you’ll be warned, hahaha). Based on KEJARA, since 1997, one is supposed to be penalized 6 to 10 demerit points for speeding. Most of us will pay the summon ticket but are we penalized any demerit points?
The thing is, when we are caught by the traffic police, we are issued a summon and it will be recorded in the police’s system but somehow it will not be recorded in JPJ’s system. For example, I could renew my road tax even-though I had 3 outstanding speeding tickets!!! I was shocked when I was told I had 3 outstanding tickets when I went to the Traffic Police Station to pay for a summon which was sent to my home via registered mail.
AUTOMATED AWARENESS SAFETY SYSTEM (AWAS)
Effective April 2017, the Federal Government implemented AWAS, which is an integration of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras and Demerit Points System (KEJARA). The objective of AWAS is to reduce road accidents with AES cameras where one would be issued a summon when they break traffic laws and penalized with demerit points which may lead to their license being suspended or even cancelled.
For starters, only two offenses, i.e. spending and beating traffic light, are applicable but hopefully more offenses will be added (using emergency lane and overtaking at double line) so that those who have no regards to traffic laws be banned from driving.
If you visit JPJ website, it states that only 14 AES cameras are currently installed and the government is very transparent as to where the cameras are:
Almost all main stream media have been reporting that the AWAS system will go into operation on 15 April 2017. And yet, JPJ managed to issue more than 13,000 summonses on the first 5 days of AWAS operation!!! And please note, the 13,000 summonses are from 14 cameras only!!! Imagine how many more thousands of Malaysians break traffic laws every single day all over Malaysia.
SO HOW DOES AWAS WORKS?
Basically you are given 20 points to start off. Below are images from JPJ website for your easy reference:
From the above, you will be given a warning once you hit the first 20 demerit points. I guess this is very fair. After that, your license will be suspended or cancelled. As for Probational Drivers, no warning will be issued and your P License will be cancelled if one use up their 20 points.
From the above images, for cars, you will be penalized 4 demerit points for beating the red light and between 2 to 4 demerits points for spending.
If you ask me, the spending demerit point is very lenient. We will be penalized with only 2 demerits points for driving up to 25 km/h above speed limit (example, in a 70 km/hr zone, we speed at 95 km/hr), we can break the law 20 times (2 x 20 = 40 demerit points) before we even get our license suspended.
Or we can beat red lights 10 times (4 x 10 = 40 demerit points) before our license is suspended. Beating the red light is freaking dangerous and can result in a fatal accident. If you ask me, the demerit point for beating red light should be 10 at least.
Now, if I were to drive at 180 km/hr in a 40 km/hr school zone. does it mean that I will only be penalized 4 demerit points (based on above 40 km/hr)? Ridiculous right.
The government intends to install up to 400 AES cameras and I fully support this so that the AWAS system can be more effective in identifying and remove those who have no regards to our traffic laws from our roads.
And if you are caught on an AES camera, you will be fined RM150. Based on the report above that 13,000 summonses were issued with just 14 cameras within 5 days, this works out to 185 summonses per day per camera.
So, if the government just install 100 AES cameras throughout Malaysia, it can generate annual income of 100 cameras x 185 summonses per camera per day x RM150 per summon x 365 days = RM1,012,875,000!!! That’s Ringgit Malaysia One Billion per year!!!
Wow! RM1b per year. The government can use this money to provide various services that can benefit the Rakyat or worst scenario the money collected from those who break the law can be used to pay our civil servants salary (which include the police, army, fireman, teachers, etc) to ensure that our national security is not compromised, hahaha.
I am very disappointed that the AWAS system is discriminatory because it is not applicable to motorbikes. Maybe this is due to the fact that the AES cameras are unable to capture the number plate of motorbikes.
Oh, the AWAS system does have a set back. Since the AES only captures the car number plate, it means the summon will be issued to the car owner and not the driver. In my case, currently 3 of my children have valid driving license but all the cars they are using are registered in my name!!! Therefore I will be penalized and punished when they break any traffic law captured by AES cameras!!!
In my opinion, the AWAS system is too lenient at the moment as it is only applicable to AES cameras and not summonses issued by traffic police for various offenses. To eradicate reckless drivers so that our roads are safer. all summonses issued by JPJ and the Traffic Police should be combined into the AWAS system.