PETALING JAYA: Motorists who settled their summonses promptly are now feeling “cheated” following the 50% discount offer for outstanding traffic tickets.
“It is unfair to people like me who paid up speedily two months ago,” said a motorist known only as Des.
“I should have listened to my wife who told me not to pay. It pays not to pay. She is right,” he said in a text message to The Star.
A number of road users sent similar text messages, expressing their dissatisfaction that their prompt settlement of the traffic fines had led them to miss out on the discount.
The Star reported yesterday that traffic offenders are given a 50% discount if they settle their summonses within two weeks. Those who pay up after the two-week grace period but by the end of the month will get a 30% discount.
The move is intended to reduce the backlog of summonses before the authorities blacklist traffic offenders from Feb 28.
The previous occasions discounts of varying degree have been offered on traffic summonses were in January and September 2005 and in July 2008.
Motorists were also allowed to appeal for discounts from district police chiefs between 2005 and 2008.
“The discount is bad. Look, there are more deaths on the road, and more indiscipline,” a motorist said.
Another reader of The Star, who called himself Patriot, said: “Traffic summonses have become a bargainable ‘product’, which is subject to discount offer.”
Another reader, who said he was now “getting smarter”, added: “I feel stupid for paying all my summonses on time.”
However, an online poll carried out by The Star revealed a different view. As of 10.15pm, about 62% of the 1,886 respondents said they welcomed the 50% discount.
Fomca chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj said traffic offenders should be given ample time to settle their traffic summonses.
He said the authorities should not limit the discount offer to a one or two-week period.
As for the motorists, he said they should not view the discount lightly as the bottom line was that they had broken the law.
“Those who were fined must pay up, otherwise, they must be prepared to face action,” he said.
Bus Operators Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali said the one-off discount was part of an ongoing campaign to clear the backlog of summonses.
Ashfar, who is on the summons committee headed by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, said that beginning March, summonses would be categorised according to the offence.
The fine would increase if the summons was not settled within a certain period.
“My advice to motorists is to take advantage of this final discount and start the new year with a clean slate,” he said.
Car Rental Association Malaysia (CRAM) president Datuk Joshua Peter Tan Pin Pin concurred, saying:
“The Government has made it very clear that this is the last discount, so motorists should quickly clear their fines.”
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