Traffic Summons – The Thing Most Drivers Are Afraid Of

“Traffic Summons”. Why must the authorities summon us?

Fines and summons have their duty to play. It is meant to maintain a driver’s good behavior. Another is to prevent the occurrence of road accidents.

Drivers who commit traffic offenses can be fined or charged by the Police authorities, the J.P.J. or the Majlis Perbandaran. Minor accidents or traffic offenses like parking for instance can be dealt with by the Police. Summons can be issued to guilty drivers.

In serious accidents, summons are mostly made out by the J.P.J. authorities. The Majlis Perbandaran normally deals with the non payment or late payment of parking meters around town.

Non parking offenses are also the domain of Majlis Perbandaran. Can you just imagine what the condition of the town area would be if Majlis Perbandaran does not play its role in looking after the town’s traffic woes?

Summons which are issued by J.P.J. authorities along our nation’s highways, to buses and lorries for offenses such as non-inspection of vehicles, speeding along the “lebuhraya” and non-possession of driving licenses are mostly chargeable in courts.

Caught “speeding”, a driver can be fined up to RM1000 or imprisoned 6 months or even both charges could be applied simultaneously. Remember, offenses which deals with licenses are “chargeable” in the courts.

This means a driver will have to appear in courts to face a magistrate or “hakim” for the offenses committed.

Simple or “minor” offenses issued by the Police are known as “compound” cases. Normally, one month is given to the offender to pay up the fines imposed. Most of the fines can easily be paid at the nearest Police Traffic Department.

Traffic offense (like parking) or non-payment of parking dues are under the Majlis Perbandaran’s domain. Its fines can be settled at the Majlis Perbandaran office itself.

Paying or setting “summons” is not the end of everything. There is something called computer “online” system. When a person settles a fine or “summons” there is a system of tabulation, under the “Demerit System” at the Transport Headquarters at Putrajaya, which tabulates demerit points which will be awarded to drivers. It’s advisable you read an earlier blog post on this subject.

Briefly, the “Demerit System” is meant only for “P” (P.D.L.) or Probationary Driver’s License holders and C.D.L. (Competent Driver’s License) drivers. A (P.D.L.) license holder will have his P License suspended should he obtain more than 10 points within a year’s period. A C.D.L. holders will have action taken against him should he obtain 15 demerit points in a 2 year period.

It should be informed that L.D.L. (Learners Driver’s License) or “L” license holders are not involved in the system. “L” holders are temporary license holders.

Next, we arrive at the question of what do we do when we receive a “summon”? Be it a Police, J.P.J. or Majlis Perbandaran summons, we have little choice but settle or pay off the fine.

Summons by the Police could be settled at the nearest Traffic Police Department. You could either go personally or ask a friend to make the payment for you.

If you wish to appeal for a lower rate or payment, you will first have to meet a Police official who holds the rank of at least a Police Inspector, who then has the authority to decide whether to lower the amount charged or otherwise.

J.P.J. summons come under the category of “compound” or “appear in court” cases. Here the problem is simple. “Compound” cases can be paid off at J.P.J. offices. For “court” cases, you have no alternative- “come to court” to face the magistrate, as explained.

In chargeable offenses (court cases), remember the offender has to appear in court as scheduled. What happens if one fails to appear on the date scheduled for the hearing? Simple, judgment will be made against you. Meaning: You have lost the case! I shall not go into the technicalities of court procedures at this stage.

What happens to parking offenses and non payment / late payment of parking meters? This is a parking offense under the Majlis Perbandaran authority. As of now, these offenses are not “one line” with J.P.J. or the Police or the Courts.

A driver will have to go to the office of these authorities to settle the dues. If you insist to be “stubborn” and refuse to settle your dues, then it’s up to the authorities concerned to initiate legal proceedings against you.

What do we do after settling our fines and summons? Be it at J.P.J., Majlis Perbandaran or Police cases, the advice is “Keep Your Receipts” well. File them properly. In future you might be asked to prove payment.

You may have sold off your car umpteen years ago, but believe it or not, one fine day, the Police, J.P.J. or even the Insurance company might send you a letter claiming you are the owner of the said vehicle concerned.

This happened to my friend, a Mr. Ong, who though sold off his jalopy 18 years ago, came to me for help recently. As you might have guessed it, some authorities, in 2009, are hounding him for “ownership”.

As this article is getting too long, I choose not to proceed to make it any longer, but before signing off, permit me to give a little not of advice.

Section 13(1) of the A.P.J. ’87 reads: “Failure to make changes with regards to ownership of a vehicle is an offense”. So do not make the same mistake my friend did. Well, you know what to do.

By | 2012-09-22T10:55:50+08:00 July 6th, 2009|Driving In Malaysia|20 Comments

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  1. Josephine June 18, 2010 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Hi, would like to get your advice.

    I didnt realize my car roadtax has been expired for 2 months until get caught by JPJ last night. I got a “appear in court” summon on 19th August.

    Ay idea what is the highest compound? Any way to make the date earlier as my wedding fall on that month.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Russel September 2, 2010 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    I am facing the same situation there any updates from u Ms Josephine?what are the implications from neglect?Really need your kind advice..


  3. cet February 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    May i seek advice on a driving offence?
    My friend was driving in JB and summoned a court of order for non-possession of his driving licence on the day of offence.

    What are the possible verdict from the judge/magistrate? Can he not attend the court but pay his fines before the court hearing date?

    Appreciate your geneuine advice and comments.

    • Cikgu Yap February 27, 2011 at 4:26 am - Reply

      Not possessing a driving license is a violation of Section 26 (2). It is a court case offense.

  4. cet March 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your reply. Since it shall be a court case, will the outcome be a fine or imprisonment?

    • Cikgu Yap March 3, 2011 at 3:51 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately yes, if you cannot pay the fine.

  5. Gina July 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    Hi, I would to get your advice.
    Yesterday I caught in an car accident and I’m in the wrong for banging onto the other car. I made a police report and the police issued me a paper asking me to appear in court on a certain date and some more one part wrote whether it is compoundable offense or not and with a date. So what does this mean and what should I do?
    P/S:This is my first time getting into an accident and I’m a university student. Thank you in advance.

    • Cikgu Yap August 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      Looks you have got a summons that’s compoundable. See the authorities that issued the above summons and pay up quickly.

  6. jsss May 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    excuse me, my car turned 180 degrees upside down and i have been summoned by the police. does such a summon exist?

    • Cikgu Yap May 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      In England, Wales and Scotland, according to the Road Traffic Act 1988, a person who drives a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on the road or place is guilty of an offence. Malaysia, likewise follow the same rules. As such, the police can therefore summon you for the way you have driven.

  7. Bret June 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm - Reply


    I was stopped by the Police for making an illegal U-turn. The paper that was passed to me tells to me appear in court. There is also a “if compounded” section which the policemen did not circle yes or no, but did say “pay at any Traffic Counter”.

    So, I assume this incident is compoundable, and if I make the payment, do I still need to appear in court as stated in the paper? It would be nice if the officer would just cross out this statement to make it clearer.

    Thanks in advance, Cikgu Yap.

    • Cikgu Yap June 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      U turn compoundable. Do not need to go to court.

  8. Yeoh August 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply


    I was stopped by the police for alleged making an illegal U-turn which I did not. The police insisted on giving me a compound.

    After leaving the scene only I found that the number plat on the compound is not my car number plat. But the compound is written with my name and IC.

    Do you think I have a case to challenge this in the court?

    Thanks in advance, Cikgu Yap.

    • Cikgu Yap September 3, 2012 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Police made technical error. But your summons still valid. Obviously, you’ve made an error. Pay up your summons. Be careful next time. Appeal for lower payment if you want.

  9. Ranger September 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    I received a summons for not having my international license (I only had a photostat copy, and my original passport and American license…apparently you need original copies of all three). I was driving a friends car and apparently the road tags were seven days expired (although the insurance was not…). My car was impounded, but I was able to have it released after my friend updated his road tags and I brought my IDL.

    Anyway, I have to appear in court on Thursday morning. Do you have any idea what I should expect? At the JPJ they said it should be simple because I am an “foreigner who is ignorant of local laws.” Most people have said that they tend to settle all of these types for RM 300. Is that about right?

    • Cikgu Yap September 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      It is my opinion that as long as your American license is valid and you have not been in our country for more than 120 days, you have not committed an offense. The authorities therefore cannot fault you. However, you can be summoned for driving a vehicle without a valid road tax. You can also be summoned for not possessing insurance too. Both the summonses can total approximately RM600. Try appealing for a lower sentence, nevertheless.

  10. Jeff December 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    I hv been stop by traffic police n claim I not put on my safety belt but in fact the belt was put on all the way while I am driving. He give a summon to but n I am trying to explain but end up he change the summon to come a court case n did not pass me the summon. What should I do now?

    • Cikgu Yap December 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      What happened to you, happens quite often. Since you didn’t sign the summons and wasn’t given one, nothing much you can do.

  11. Zu January 4, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I’ve received two summons, first on fancy plate number and second on expired road tax on my bike. I’ve missed the court dates but would like to settle the fines. What’s a rough estimate on my charges as so I can breath a sigh of relief without going to jail for not bringing enough? Nervous

    • Cikgu Yap January 8, 2015 at 9:56 am - Reply

      You seem to have got yourself into lots of problem. Be ready to fork anything from RM1500 – RM2000. If unable to settle the fines imposed, a jail sentence seems very real. Hope you’ll learn from past experience.

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