Is there amongst us motorists who has been driving now for years who has never been issued a summons before? I doubt if there is.

In Malaysia, 90% of traffic summonses are issued by the Police authorities. The rest is reported issued by the Road Transport Department or J.P.J. Currently, it is believed some 650,000 motorists are blacklisted for dialing to settle traffic summonses. Sources say the police issued some 10,000 – 15,000 summonses everyday. Most of it unfortunately are not settled.

To date, there are some 15 million summonses in Malaysia which have not been paid yet. Although nonpayment of traffic summonses is indeed a big headache and problem to the authorities, yet the Cabinet has deferred to take action on errant motorists who have yet to pay up their summonses, until 28 February 2011. After that date, the Government will start blacklisting offenders.

Beginning from the 1st December 2010, those who settle traffic tickets within a period of 2 weeks will be given a 50% discount. Those who settle their dues after the 2 weeks period but by the end of the month will however be accorded a 30% discount. After that, motorists will be expected to pay up the full amount of the summons issued to them.

The above is a move by the government to get traffic offenders to pay up traffic summonses. After 28th February 2011, traffic offenders are liable to be blacklisted.

However, these discounts are not meant for all motorists who are issued traffic fines. Those offenders who are summoned under the road safety campaigns, the Ops Sikap exercises carried out during Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas celebrations will not be given discounts.

Also, those have already been issued “warrant of arrest” will also not be given any discount at all. Those issued with summons for being involved in serious accidents, like being charged under Section 41 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 will also not receive the 50% discount which is currently being given.

It is also reported that traffic fines issued under the Automated Enforcement System (A.E.S.) which is reportedly scheduled to be launched soon in January 2011 will also not be given discounts.

The Secretary General of the Transport Ministry, Datuk Long See Wooi said that the Government has to come down hard on traffic offenders by tightening the enforcement of traffic rules. The Government, Datuk Long said is in the midst of amending laws to make them stricter. If a motorist is fined RM300, then he or she has to pay up the RM300!

The A.E.S. will provide video surveillance on roads, at traffic lights and CCTV will be used especially at traffic light junctions to prevent motorists flaunting rules and regulation. With better all round surveillance, it is hoped Malaysian’s fatality index, which now stands at 3.55 deaths per 10,000 vehicles ar Dec 2010 will be lowered.

Besides surveillance cameras along our roads and traffic light junctions, helicopters will also be employed soon. There has been proposal to use helicopters to aid in rescue operations, especially in accidents which involved mass casualties.

The emergency unit of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, its department head, Professor Datuk Dr. Abu Hassan Asahari Abdullah said the used of helicopters would be carried out in phases throughout the 11th Malaysia Plan.

Dr. Abu Hassan further said the proposal integrated response service would have 3 helicopters in all, one each in Sabah and Sarawak, which 5 helicopters would be used in the northern, central and southern zones of the Malaysian peninsular.

Motorists are advised to make full use of the 50% discounts given to outstanding summonses. It is an offer which might never be offered again. Therefore, those who hold unsettled traffic summonses, take the opportunity to settle the outstanding summonses as soon as possible.

If you think only “Mega Sales” campaigns are carried out at supermarkets all throughout the nation, it looks as if now even government departments have resorted to be offering discount for traffic offenders to settle their outstanding summonses.