JPJ issues 13,096 traffic summonses in just five days after Awas launch

It’s full speed ahead, literally, for Malaysian drivers under a newly launched system to nab traffic offenders, with 11,556 summonses being issued for speeding.

Awas – a combination of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) and traffic offence demerit system (Kejara) – began last Saturday to nab those who speed or beat a red light.

Within five days of its launch, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) has issued 13,096 traffic summonses; 11,556 for speeding and 1,540 for beating the red light.

Awas, which is aimed at reducing the number of road accidents and deaths, will “award” demerit points to offenders.

They will be given incremental penalties for every 20 points picked up, which range from a warning to having their licences suspended.

Fourteen surveillance cameras have been installed nationwide to record the recalcitrant ones.

Ten cameras are on highways, with two more at traffic lights in Jalan Ipoh and Jalan Klang Lama, and another two at traffic lights in Putrajaya.

Bernama quoted Saripuddin as saying that the ministry would increase the number of cameras eventually.

“Road users need to give their cooperation. This is important for the safety of road users and not just to avoid demerit points,” he said.

Inspector­General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Bukit Aman would discuss soon with JPJ on the possibility of integrating Awas with the traffic police system.

And it was reported yesterday that JPJ wanted Awas to be linked to the traffic police for more comprehensive enforcement.

Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research director­general Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon was supportive of the plan to integrate Awas with the traffic police.

Otherwise, it was not viable for both the JPJ and police to process the same traffic violations with different punishments, he said.

“A person who gets a JPJ summons will be penalised differently from those with a police summons,” he said, noting that offenders under JPJ would get a fine and a demerit point, while those who get a police summons would pay just a fine.

Traffic offenders might not take their summonses seriously if they were not slapped with demerit points, he added.

“If only one type of summons involves the Kejara demerit system, the summons without demerit points may not be taken seriously enough by traffic offenders,” he said.

Dr Wong urged the police and JPJ to find ways to incorporate the two systems to avoid this situation.

To ensure the effectiveness of Awas, he suggested its enforcement must be “sure, swift and severe”.

“Awas already has the ‘sure’ factor because it can provide strong evidence of traffic offences. But it must also be ‘swift’ where summonses are issued as soon as possible.”

The “severe” factor would refer to the seriousness of the consequences to those who violate traffic laws, he added.

However, Dr Wong said Awas should not be seen as punishing offenders.

“Authorities are looking to change the behaviour of road users. There is only so much advising and educating people that can be done before penalties have to be put in place.

Source – The Star (24 April 2017)

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