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Saman ekor meant to make roads safer

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:11 am
by admin
PETALING JAYA: Saman ekor is not intended to penalise road users. Instead, it is to ensure the safety of road users, especially at high risk areas or accident black spots.

“Public safety cannot be compromised. Those who commit offences will surely be captured, swiftly informed and severely disciplined – with minimum contact between law enforcement officer and traffic offender,” said Trans­port Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha.

Kong said this in a statement here to clear the air over the alleged blacklisting due to saman ekor, which is expected to be decided at a high-level meeting next week.

There had been criticisms about the summons system, which many quarters want repealed.

The Road Transport Department and other road enforcement agencies had reportedly said they could blacklist those who fail to settle their traffic summonses.

Kong said the blacklisting will only take effect if motorists fail to respond in time to saman ekor.

“The summons will be delivered to the vehicle owner via an enforcement notice,” he said, adding that the blacklisting would take effect two months after the notice is served.

“The rights of road users have to be protected and respected. One definitely remains innocent until proven guilty,” said Kong.

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We’ll consider unhappiness over saman ekor

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:54 am
by admin
KUANTAN: The Government will consider public feedback on saman ekor before making a decision on the matter soon, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government was aware that many quarters were not happy with the move which had inconvenienced them.

”I have instructed the Chief Secretary to the Government to chair a meeting and to study the implications of its implementation.

“We will look at ways to tackle the issue effectively,” he said after launching the Pahang biodiversity-biotechnology strategic action plan here yesterday.

Muhyiddin was asked to comment on complaints by the public over the issue which had caused many motorists to be blacklisted.

He said some motorists received multiple saman ekor involving a huge amount of money and some of them could not renew their road taxes.

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Three cheers for saman ekor

PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:01 pm
by admin
Sort the problems out and cherish this life-saving deterrence to road accidents.

IN one month, the exodus out of the cities will start as millions go back to their hometowns to celebrate Hari Raya. The roads will be filled to the brim, the users will break traffic rules, there will be many who will flout the law and drive at breakneck speed, endangering their lives and those of others.

For the unfortunate few, relatively speaking that is, there will be grief at Hari Raya. Statistics show that over 200 lives will be lost during the festivities and many more injured. Thousands, who should be celebrating the end of Ramadan, the fasting month, will instead go into mourning.

Politicians at this time will exhort their constituents to be extra careful on the roads and reduce the fatalities, as if their exhortations will bear fruit. But at the same time, some of them endorse relaxing traffic rules and their enforcement, the only thing that offers deterrence to those who endanger lives on the roads.

It is a horrifying shock to me that there are quarters who are opposed to the imposition of traffic summonses via the post (the celebrated saman ekor) and that the Government is actually considering doing away with them. If they are caught on camera for an offence, what other evidence is needed?

When the rates of accident and fatalities on the roads in Malaysia are among the highest in the world, it is terribly, terribly difficult to understand how one can justify turning back a 10-year-old practice that has been successful in identifying 10 million offences!

I can understand that some of the offenders are peeved that the first time they know about the summonses is when they attempt to pay their road tax. Then they discover they have been blacklisted for not paying up for the past traffic offences.

But that must not imply that the process – and a very effective one at that – for catching traffic offenders be scrapped in favour of one that requires a summons to be issued on the spot by police and enforcement officers.

Strangely, the solution proposed by Umno Youth, whose leader Khairy Jamaluddin described saman ekor as unfair and did not give the right to motorists to defend themselves in court, was to scrap it.

Scrapping it means that the motorist or traffic offender has to be caught red-handed committing an offence by an officer who is in a position to stop or apprehend the offender and then issue a summons.

That is not only impossible most of the time, it is open to substantial abuses such as corruption. It causes traffic jams and poses a danger to motorists and other road users.

The effect of human intervention is also to favour some people and come down hard on others while there will be no such thing under an automatic, automated system which will catch all offenders irrespective of who they are – from the mighty politician to the lowly rakyat.

We must keep the existing saman ekor. If there are administrative deficiencies, we can easily sort them out by other means rather than scrapping them.

Countries throughout the world rely on this system to keep their road users on the straight and narrow. It is particularly useful in nabbing unsuspecting speeding offenders and speeding is one of the major killers on our roads. We must not compromise safety standards.

Complaints that offenders did not know about their offences are valid but the majority of them are likely to be excuses. It is incumbent upon vehicle owners to provide the right address on their registration cards. If they have, they would have received the summonses.

The police should only have to prove that they have posted and delivered the summonses to the addresses on the registration cards within a specified time period, say three months. This can be in the form of registered letters or courier services. If this is done, the public has little or nothing to complain about and must pay up.

For road safety to improve, there must be enormous deterrence for bad behaviour. Road users must be severely, fairly and uniformly penalised for traffic offences and there is really nothing better than saman ekor.

To do away with saman ekor is to contribute to the high rate of deaths on Malaysian roads and hobble the already overloaded police and other enforcement officers. It will set the clock back many years and deal a deadly blow to our efforts to reduce road kill.

It will be an insult to those who have died and will die on the roads during festive times, coming at this time when many make their way back to their kampung for Hari Raya.

Instead of cheering the saman ekor system, which has brought to book millions of traffic offenders and offered a real deterrent to road offences, we are now at the ludicrous crossroad of deciding whether to continue with the system.

It is testimony to the effectiveness of saman ekor that so many people are complaining about it – it is really beginning to hurt. Isn’t that what deterrence is about?

Three cheers for saman ekor!

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Six-month grace period to pay up saman ekor

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:08 am
by admin
PUTRAJAYA: Those with outstanding traffic summonses have been given a temporary reprieve.

They can now renew their vehicle and driving licences as the controversial blacklist has been suspended until Feb 28 next year.

Announcing this, Transport Minis­ter Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said they would still have to clear their existing summonses either through instalments or full payment.

“We have decided not to give any discounts on the summonses issued,” he told reporters after chairing the post-Cabinet meeting here yesterday.

“We urge these traffic offenders to pay their summonses to avoid being blacklisted again after Feb 28 next year.”

He said the demerit system would not be enforced for the summonses that traffic offenders settled during the grace period.

Kong said more than 650,000 traffic offenders had been blacklisted.

On saman ekor, he said it would continue to be issued during the grace period.

“This is to ensure that there will be minimum contact between law enforcement officers and traffic offenders so that the rakyat will not harbour the perception that these officers are corrupted,” he added.

Kong said the ministry did not encourage enforcement officers to hide behind trees for enforcement purposes.

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