Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The Automated Enforcement System in fighting road deaths
AES - Education not instilling fear the long-term solution
The Automated Enforcement System (AES) to be implemented nationwide by the Road Transport Department (RTD) is surrounded by controversy and being resisted by the opposition and many ordinary Malaysians who feel the system is ill planned and aimed at reaping huge benefits by the companies tasked to manage it instead of really benefiting the people.
However the RTD denies these allegations and insist it is meant to reduce road accidents and deaths associated with them. The department is convinced that the electronic enforcement system could help reduce road fatalities by between 17 to 71 percent as international studies conclude. According to the RTD the system is to further increase what is called as the Perception of Being Caught (POBC) and instill fear among motorists thereby reducing the rate of accidents.
While the aim to reduce road accidents and the loss of lives associated with them is a noble one, what needs to be answered is whether the AES is the best option we have considering the cost involved in setting up and maintaining the system. While speed is a cause of fatal accidents in our, is it the main cause in our country?
Being a driver on our roads for over 30 years I am of the opinion that the most common cause of accidents in the country is recklessness resulting from indiscipline and inconsiderate attitude of drivers. Issuing summons to such drivers is not going to effectively reduce accidents significantly on the long run. It can only be corrected through proper education and guidance from young which sad to say is lacking these days.
The way the AES is being implemented rashly, without adequate study and public debate and the way the contracts were given to certain companies aligned to political parties, do not augur well for the motive behind the implementation of the AES. Are we really ready to implement the AES now? Do we have the required infrastructure in place? Are the companies operating them capable to effectively maintaining them or will all these monitoring cameras and other devices become ‘white elephants’ in a couple of years like many of our other projects?
In fact the BN government is fast losing credibility as every project it starts seems to be poorly planned,improper, non-transparent and riddled with corruption. The people are fast losing confidence in its ability to carry out projects for the benefit of the people as a whole. They tend to increasing believe the opposition as the latter seem to be more logical in their arguments and sincere in their motive at least for the moment.
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