Friday, December 17, 2010

Discount on summonses is rewarding the reckless

The long queues at traffic police stations throughout the country to pay the discounted traffic summonses are indeed unnecessary and s the purpose for which the summonses were issues in the first place. We understand that those affected had to spend many hours to pay their fines which is indeed a loss of precious man-hours as many had to take day off from their jobs to settle the summonses.

We are told that those paying within the first weeks are given 50% discount which will be reduced to 30% subsequently after that. What is the rationale behind these discounts? Are the summonses issued to punish the errand drivers or to increase the revenue for the government coffers? The scenes at the crowded police counters of people cueing up to pay their summonses suggest that indeed a lucrative business.

There are no qualms that reckless drivers should be severely punished as they pose a serious danger to just not their lives but that of other innocent law-abiding citizens as well. In fact such dangerous divers must not only be fined and legal action taken if they fail to pay up If fining alone does not deter them then other forms of punitive action must be considered. If the summonses are aimed to deter reckless drivers then why the need to give discount without any remorse on their part? By giving discount the authorities would be sending the wrong message that they are not serious in wanting to put a stop to reckless driving by irresponsible people. They could be seen as rewarding those who break the laws and casing harm to innocent drivers on the roads.

With the escalating death on the roads every day, it is time for the PDRM to show that they are serious in acting against dangerous drivers on the roads. They must review their system of issuing summonses so that the real culprits do not escape the wrath of the law. We all familiar with a situation where motorists who exceed the speed limit slightly on a clear stretch of highway are promptly summoned whereas those driving recklessly with near-miss accidents go scot-free. For this latter category of divers, fines alone may not deter recklessness as either they can easily afford to pay them or they are being paid by their employers. These recalcitrant drivers should be more severely punished depending on the seriousness of their offense in accordance with the laws of the country. There should not be any excuses for compromising the safety on the roads.

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