Gerakan is against the higher penalties on road traffic offenders
26 Jun 2012, 3:25 PM
In regard to the Road Transport Bill 2012 (Amendment) that was tabled yesterday in the parliament that proposed harsher penalties for road traffic offenders, Gerakan’s head of environment, safety and quality of life bureau Dr. Cheah Soon Hai today expresses his disagreement on the bill as he feels that it is not the right move by the government on its goal to reduce traffic fatalities through raising the fines.
Dr. Cheah Soon Hai who is also Kedah Gerakan State Chairman said that the bill is showing less concern or understanding to the livelihood burdens of the people as inflation and cost of living are on a constant hike especially in the urban cities like Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Johor Bahru and George Town, therefore higher penalties on road traffic offenders could spell bad news for the urbanites who already struggle to make ends meet.
Furthermore, Dr. Cheah also opines that the Transport Ministry has failed to show a good comprehension on the traffic problems for not being discerning, astute and insightful as showed in its poor understanding and judgement on the issue. There are many factors leading to a high road traffic fatality rate in the country such as bad driving attitude, human errors, poor road condition, climatic factor, poor vehicle condition, seasonal occasions such as Hari Raya and Chinese New Year, the negligence of authorities and poor enforcement such as the issuance of licences to bus drivers with multiple summonses. Therefore, the move to impose higher penalties on road traffic offenders on a legally compelling manner is not the best way to solve the issue as it is not likely to bring awareness to the public.
“Worse still, the bill could be potentially backfiring us with the maximum fine is raised from RM1,000 previously to the proposed RM2,000, it could lead to a more rampant corruption involving the traffic police, JPJ and city councils as the public would resort to a cheaper solution by bribing the enforcement officials which may deal a big blow to the government long-time effort to fight against corruption,” said Dr. Cheah.
“As a way out from this predicament, Gerakan proposes the use of educational approaches to raise awareness among the people on road safety and abide the law through dedicated and long-lasting campaigns and formal education as we hold that the issue should be tackled on a more societal and conscientious approach to create a more responsible and well-behaved society because we always believe that generally the attitude or behaviour of the road users such as drivers and pedestrians are a reflection of the overall educational attainment and integrity of the society, I believe education is always better than a coercive law to address this issue,” added Dr. Cheah.
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