PUTRAJAYA: The Kejara demerit system will be overhauled to plug weaknesses in acting against reckless motorists.
The Road Transport Department (JPJ), which described the system as a flop, will introduce several changes which will include a potent “no-appeal” clause. This means that offenders will have no room to appeal once they received the minimum 15 demerit points.
Under present rules, a motorist who chalks up 15 demerit points or more has to answer a show-cause notice and face a six-month suspension if the explanation is rejected.
However, a motorist is able to get around this by not settling the summonses issued.
Currently, an offence is only an offence when the offender accepts it and pays the summons, or when he is found guilty in a court. Only then are demerit points imposed.
To avoid the demerit points, the offender just doesn’t have to pay up. This also explains why there is such a high rate of unpaid traffic summonses in the country.
Department director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan told The Star that the present demerit point system was flawed.
He said that under the proposed changes to the Road Transport Act to be tabled in Parliament later this year, motorists would have a two-month grace period to settle summonses.
“No demerit points will be slapped on them if they pay up within that period. After the grace period, demerit points will automatically be imposed, thus solving a major flaw in the system,” he pointed out.
Another change that will be proposed is giving powers to the department to revoke a driver’s licence without having to obtain it from the offender.
Solah said that many offenders did not surrender their licences when ordered to do so.
“The department will soon have the power to suspend or revoke a driver’s licence directly from its database.
“We do not need the offenders to surrender their driver’s licence to us,” he stressed.
The JPJ has for years conceded that the Kejara (acronym for Keselamatan Jalanraya or Road Safety) – first introduced in 1984 – is a flop and depriving them of the much needed powers to act against errant drivers.
JPJ statistics showed that enforcement through Kejara had been slowing down since 2005.
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