KUALA LUMPUR: Smile, you could be on camera but for the wrong reasons.
Digital cameras will be installed along highways and accident-prone areas by this year to nab speeding drivers.
The cameras for the "automated enforcement system" will operate round the clock. It will snap pictures of drivers breaking road rules or of those bribing policemen to escape summonses.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said it was one way to curb corruption and reduce dependency on manpower.
"It is not meant to burden motorists."
Ong added that it would enhance integrity among enforcement officers and ensure motorists follow road rules at accident-prone areas.
When the system is set up, the probability of being caught by the police will go up to 90 per cent. At present, the probability of being caught is 20 to 25 per cent and increases to up to 55 per cent during festive season.
Due to the lack of enforcement, among other reasons, Malaysia loses about 6,000 lives in accidents.
The Road Safety Department and Road Transport Department (RTD), both under Transport Ministry, have been planning to install the cameras for the past three years.
However, the project was delayed as the ministry was trying to work out operational details with the concessionaire providing the camera and other equipment. .
Ong said the ministry was now in its final stages in identifying areas to install the cameras, which would be carried out in stages.
The cameras will be able to zoom onto the vehicle's registration plate.
"It is quite different from CCTVs. It will automatically snap speeding vehicles and the pictures could be used in court."
The cameras can monitor the movement of every car and record information such as the speed, whether they were on the emergency lane or overtaking along the double lines.
The information will be relayed to the control centre for the police or the RTD to issue summonses.
"Our interest is not to issue summons," said Ong.
"Motorists will be alerted when they are in the surveillance zone. This is to encourage them to be more cautious and courteous."
To reduce accidents, the ministry has also made it mandatory for backseat passengers to buckle up. It is also targeting motorcyclists to firmly strap on helmets to avoid head injury during an accident.
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