If you are a motorist, then obviously you know something about the Road Transport Ordinance 1987.
It is also believed that you will be aware of the Demerit System and the provision of points which if tabulated conscientiously by the Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (J.P.J.) at Putrajaya, will result in either a “P” driver or an experienced driver better known as Competent Driver’s License (C.D.L.) holder eventually losing their driving licenses.
As a Kursus Pendidikan Pemandu lecturer at one large driving institute, I have always made it a point to emphasise on the important of the Demerit System advocated by the defensive form of driving which Australia is said to follow.
Where the above system is reported to have resulted in a drop of accidents for Australia, surprisingly, it has not done the same for our country, Malaysia.
Malaysia and the Road Transport Department in reality attempts to adhere rigidly to the defensive form of driving advocated by our neighbor Australia. But what surprised me was the latest announcement by our Minister of Transport, Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha in Kuala Lumpur recently is most baffling indeed.
It is most unbelievable the authorities have announced that motorists, which obviously will include “P” drivers too who have just received their driving licenses will not be slapped with demerit points any longer under the latest announcement made by the Ministry of Transport.
It was announced by the Transport Minister that if motorists settle outstanding summons within a period of 3 months, then the demerit system will not be applied upon them.
With the rate of accidents in the country rising in leaps and bounds, why has the government decided on such a ridiculous move?
The Demerit System, under the Road Transport Ordinance 1987, represents one of the core features of the Ordinance. The latest announcement by the authorities has dealt a death blow to efforts of attempting to curb and lower the rate of accidents in our country.
What is the purpose of wasting so much public funds and efforts during each and every Ops Sikap campaign during Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas celebrations, if the authorities have no right to take action and in general cannot ban or suspend licenses of drivers, especially those in the “P” or C.D.L. categories?
I hold the opinion that if demerit points will not be used as from now on, what then is the purpose of having the Demerit System enshrined in Road Transport Ordinance 1987 in the first place?
As from March 1st 2011, motorist might as well forget about their dreams of expecting the authorities to provide huge discount for their unpaid summons. Millions of outstanding summonses have yet to be settled by motorists.
In order to alleviate the above major headache which the government is facing today, the Cabinet has agreed to restructure the method of paying summonses based upon the maxim of “the more you delay, the more you pay”.
The diagram below is a table for revised categories of offenses, payment periods and new compound rates as announced by the government recently.
If one were to study the above table carefully, a motorist will pay more for summonses if he were to delay payment. The best alternative which should be adopted by motorists is “pay up as soon as possible”, as it is cheaper in the long run.
Another good news for motorist is the restructure system of payment will also cover fines issued by all enforcement agencies including the local councils, the police and also the J.P.J. as well.
The new announcement takes effect on March 1st 2011. However, summonses for traffic offenses which are serious in nature will not be provided with any discount at all.