AES vs Malaysian bad drivers
The installation of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) that started on September 23 proves something most of the public suspected yet hoped wasn’t true: Malaysia is full of bad drivers.
Since September 23, when the first of the cameras were installed, more than 63,558 traffic offenses have been recorded. Now, these offenders are being brought to justice.
In Kajang on Monday, the Magistrates Court fined 40 motorists caught speeding by the AES after they pleaded guilty. Each was fined between RM300 and RM350 or offered 10 days in jail. They all paid their fine.
Eight others pleaded not guilty and the court will decide their cases in January. The police will issue arrest warrants for those who ignore summonses.
Though only in a few locations, the new AES cameras are doing their job. Since the implementation of AES, the rate of traffic offences at those locations has been reduced by 75 per cent. The system works, which is why 90 countries use this or similar ones.
Because of these results, the Government is committed to push ahead with the complete installation of the 831 cameras nationwide by the end of the year, despite resistance from some Opposition-led state governments.
“We will not postpone our plan to implement the AES, because it is a noble effort,” said Road Transport Department (JPJ) Director-General Datuk Solah Mat Hassan.
“The cameras were installed to save human lives and all parties should give their cooperation. If everyone, including political leaders, understands the reason behind the installation, there will be no questions about the implementation,” said Solah.
The JPJ will be conducting a nationwide tour for meetings with government representatives at the central and state level to explain AES and how it benefits motorists.
In Alor Star, 150 heads of department and officers from government agencies revealed that they were in support of the AES programme. Most recently, Opposition-led state Kedah, came out in support of installing the AES system, because of the popularity of the system with its constituents.
AES is a win-win for Malaysia as no public funding was involved. The company agreed to install all 831 cameras at no cost to the public and maintain them for five years for free. They won’t win a new contract if their prices aren’t competitive and their equipment doesn’t deliver.
In a testament to the quality of the system, two cameras, which were vandalised in Selangor over the weekend, are now up and running with no problem.
In Selangor, the rate of deaths due to vehicle accidents has increased every year for the last three years. The International Transport Forum 2012 ranked Malaysia with the highest number of road fatalities in the world with 23 deaths per 100,000 population in 2010 – a distinction most of us would happily surrender. – thechoice