Wednesday December 1, 2010
50% discount for traffic summons on again
By SARBAN SINGH and CHITRA S NATHAN
SEREMBAN: The on-off discount for traffic offenders is on again, with those who settle their traffic tickets within two weeks from today getting a 50% discount.
Those who settle their dues after the two-week period but by the end of the month will be entitled to a 30% discount.
After that, offenders will be required to pay the full amount of the summonses issued to them.
The move is to get offenders to pay their summonses and reduce the backlog before the government starts blacklisting offenders from Feb 28.
A government official who disclosed this said motorists who were issued tickets during the Ops Sikap exercises or those who had arrest warrants against them would not be eligible for the discounts.
“Those issued summonses for serious accidents will also not be eligible,” he said.
In 2008, similar discounts were offered to ease the burden of unpaid traffic summonses on the lower-income group.
(Ops Sikap is the traffic safety operation carried out by police during festive seasons, such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali, Christmas and Chinese New Year. The operation also involves the Road Transport Department, the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board and the National Anti-Drugs Agency.)
The official said the authorities would not entertain appeals for reduction after a month.
“The move is to encourage more traffic offenders to pay up. We do not want the list of people blacklisted to increase,” he said.
It was understood that traffic offenders had chalked up over 15 million summonses for various offences in recent years.
Almost 90% of the tickets were issued by the police. The rest were by the Road Transport Depart ment.
It was learnt that some 650,000 motorists were on the police blacklist for failing to settle their traffic summonses.
It was understood that police issued between 10,000 and 15,000 summonses daily.
Cash is accepted at all police headquarters and district police stations as well as counters at several shopping malls.
Prior to this, motorists who had committed traffic offences and failed to settle their tickets were required to pay the full amount or risk being blacklisted.
However, following a Cabinet decision in August, the authorities deferred the blacklist period to Feb 28 so offenders could pay up.
At that time, offenders were allowed to pay up in instalments as the Government did not offer any discounts.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha had said motorists should pay up if they did not want to risk further action, such as demerit action, after the deadline.
Will this encourage people to take traffic summons lightly? What about people who had paid earlier? Should the government increase summons rate if it’s not payable within a certain duration?