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Pendapat / Opinion

AES is a life safer and not a money minter

I welcome the government’s introduction of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) to capture motorists for traffic offences. All those who truly understand what it means to lose 19 lives per day (about 7,000 per year) on our roads due to accidents will appreciate what the authorities are trying to achieve with the AES.

A young nation with just over 29 million people registering such a colossal figure of deaths on our roads is akin to self destruction or can be described as suicidal. Although China and India have been known to have the highest number of road accidents respectively,I believe Malaysia stands out for its accident ratio if compared to its population with Indai and China.

There could be several contributing factors attributed for fatal accidents on our roads. However, studies indicate that the deliberate act of beating speed limits and traffic lights have been the major contributing factors. Annually, hundreds of innocent lives are lost and many hundreds are maimed or crippled for life due to reckless motorists who care a hoot for the law and other innocent road users.

Many families have lost their loved ones in road accidents and have been suffering in silence. No amount of compensation or sympathies will be able to erase the tragic losses and emotional scars. The country too, suffers as it loses a son or a daughter (citizens) who may have had the potential to contribute immensely towards her social and economic development.

Whichever way we choose to see it, the unexceptionally high rate of fatal road accidents does not speak well of a young nation like Malaysia. It’s time for drastic action.The introduction of the AES will help to haul up those who flout the traffic rules and reduce fatal accidents.

I strongly believe AES will help reduce the number of accidents in the country. We are already seeing some encouraging results going by the statistics released by the authorities recently.

I’ve been a frequent weekend traveller between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur and have noticed motorists are now very careful not to beat the speed limit. With ample visible warning signs of the AES installation at strategic points along the highway, it has further helped to keep the motorists alert of their speed.

Those who see the AES in the right light will definitely vote for it. The AES is here to safe lives and to prevent unwanted injuries and loss of properties.

I hope the Penang government will not turn this AES installation as another political issue. By all means study the implications but do not stall the installation. Penang is also one of the notorious states renowned for its traffic violators and fatal accidents.

Delaying the AES installation amounts to betraying those who loves to see the roads safe. It will be reckless to delay the AES instalation.

Having said that, the authorities should ensure the AES summonses are issued to all types of motor vehicles, be it that of a dignitary, private individual or public owned vehicle. There should not be any biasness in the issuance of summons for traffic offences captured in AES.

The law should apply aross the board.The authorities should also provide an avenue for first time traffic offenders to appeal for a reduction in the imposed fines and a rebate for those who settled their fines earlier.

Public education on road safety should be on going thing to create an awareness.The AES should seen as a life safer and not a money minter.

Finally, I wish to suggest to the authorities concerned that an AES audit committee to be set up. Ideally this committee should include public representatives (NGOs like CAP) to audit the issuances of AES summons and to ensure that it is not been abused or misused to benefit certain individuals or parties.-FMT

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