The latest decision by the authorities to give a 50% discount for unsettled traffic summonses has led to mixed reactions from the public.

The 50% discount offered for traffic offences will be given to those who settle their outstanding summonses within 2 weeks. After that period, a person will be given a 30% discount only. But the outstanding summons has to be paid within period of one month.

This is not the first time the authorities have made a discount concession like this. The previous occasions the authorities gave such a concession was in September 2005. It gave yet another concession discount way back in July 2008. Before the reduction was made, it was reported that the government was saddled with an 18 million unsettled summonses problem.

The government therefore had no alternative but to decide upon giving reductions. It has to reduce the backlog of summonses currently existing in its records. After 1st March 2011, stern actions will be taken against those who have yet to settle their summonses.

According to the committee, which is said to be headed by the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, the committee has decided to provide discount. But said the Tan Sri, after 1st of March 2011, all summonses will be categorized according to the offenses traversed.

Before anyone who currently holds an unsettled summons goes to settle his outstanding fine at the local police station of JPJ branch, one should ideally know what type of summons will be accorded a discount. Otherwise, I am certain that you will tend to feel disappointed.

Namely 3 categories of summonses will not be given any discount at all. They are:
i) Summonses issued during Ops Sikap campaigns during Hari Raya Puasa, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas celebration.

ii) Summonses which are issued by Automated Enforcement System (A.E.S.) where special surveillance cameras are used.

iii) Motorists which commit serious traffic offences, such as driving dangerously and eventually causing death under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Ordinance 1987.

At this juncture, we come to the question of how the public feels with the latest government’s decision to offer discounts to those who have yet to settle their outstanding summonses.

Reports received so far say, there have been mixed reactions. While some agree and are smiling, others on the other hand are fuming mad over this latest decision which the authorities have made.

Those who supported the move, as they felt, it was one way to increase the government’s revenue and at the same time, clear the backlog of unsettled summonses , others who have already settled their summons promptly, as they are law abiding citizens, feel disappointed as they felt it did not pay to be law abiding after all.

For example, a motorist known only as Des said he should have listened to his wife. She had told him not to pay. She was right all along.

Many road users who have settled their fines promptly said they had missed out on the discount and thus feel cheated. If there is any consolation for those who have already settled their traffic offenses promptly, it goes to show that you indeed are good citizens who abide by the law.

By settling your fines early, you might have benefited nothing, but do not forget, your conscience is clear. You do not have to bear the thought of thinking about your unpaid summons day in and day out, unlike those who hold on to their unpaid summons.

In short, you do not have to worry about the unpaid summons. Those who have paid up before the government announced this latest offer, can console themselves that they have acted like a true gentleman. Having committed a traffic offense, they have acknowledged fact that are wrong and have accepted their mistakes. I salute motorists who belong to this category and appreciate drivers like yourself.

The authorities have a duty to perform. It has to perform certain duties for the benefit of the public. It can’t possibly please all parties. Some quarters will obviously benefit from its actions. While others unfortunately will not gain anything by its actions at all. That I suppose is life. Sometimes, we win and at other times we end up as losers. You have to accept this reality.