The real intention of introducing AES is to squeeze rakyat's pocket in order to enrich political cronies and the Government?

It was widely reported November last year that less than 40 days after the Automated Enforcement System (AES) was launched, a Maserati GranTurismo was caught speeding at 268 km/h by the AES speed camera at KM301.9 PLUS highway (north-bound) before the Kajang exit.

It was also reported that several days later, the safety camera has also captured a bright red Ferrari travelling at 243 km/h on PLUS Expressways (north-bound) at KM376 near Slim River, Perak.

It the same piece of news, it was reported that when contacted, the Road Transport Department (RTD) assistant director (enforcement) Ahmad Nasir Abdul Gani had confirmed that the traffic offenders were caught unmistakably at breakneck speed by the cameras.

Pursuant to this, I submitted a question to Parliament as below: -

“Puan Teo Nie Ching [Kulai] to ask the MINISTER OF TRANSPORT to state action taken against driver of Maserati GranTurismo and Ferrari cars where their pictures caught speeding at speeds of 268 km/h and 243 km/h by AES cameras and whether they will be charged under section 43 of the Road Transport Act.”

Much to my surprise, the reply from Minister of Transport now says that there is no such case in their AES record (tiada rekod kesalahan AES).

So my first question is, is RTD capable of keeping a correct record of AES? A Road Transport Department assistant director was quoted, yet the Minister of Transport now claimed that there was no such record. Was the record deleted for some unknown reasons?

Or perhaps, the story of Maserati and Ferrari was fabricated to justify the implementation of AES? The implementation of AES never receives warm welcome from the general public. Could the story be created to add weight to the implementation of it?

Lastly, even though Maserati and Ferrari was not on the AES record of RTD, the answer from the Transport Minister confirmed that AES camera captured a Nissan GTR driving at 238km/h and RTD had issued a summons under Section 79(2) of the Road Transport Act.

Section 79. Penalties for neglect of traffic directions and signs.

(2) …where any traffic sign has been lawfully placed on or near any road, …any person driving or propelling any vehicle, who fails or neglects to conform to the indication given by the sign, shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred ringgit.

For someone who can afford Nissan GTR, Maserati or Ferrari, a fine of RM500 is not going to deter them from driving at dangerous speed on the road. That’s why I suggest those drivers should be charged under Section 43 of the Act.

Section 43. Careless and inconsiderate driving.

(1) A person who drives a motor vehicle on a road without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be punished with a fine of not less than four thousand ringgit and not more than ten thousand ringgit and shall also be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months. [Am. Act A1065: s.9]

(3) On a second or subsequent conviction under this section, the court shall exercise the power conferred by this Part ordering that the offender shall be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence unless the court having regard to the lapse of time since the date of the previous or last previous conviction or for any other reason (which reason shall be stated in the order), thinks fit to order otherwise, but this provision shall not be construed as affecting the right of the court to exercise the power aforesaid on a first conviction.

(4) … where a person who is a holder of a probationary driving licence is convicted under this section, the court shall thereupon revoke his driving licence. 
[Ins. Act A973:s.26]

Obviously the punishment under Section 43 of the Act is much heavier, hence more deterrent effect. If the purpose of introducing AES is to make our road safer and make the road-users more careful, I say it may work on those driving Myvi or Proton at 120km/h on North-South Highway, but it is not going to work on those who can afford a car that costs half a million or more.

But the strange part is, the Road Transport Department is only interested to issue summons to the law-breakers, but can never be bothered to bring them to court. So the real intention of introducing AES, is to reduce road fatalities and accidents, or to squeeze rakyat’s pocket in order to enrich political cronies and the Government?

Teo Nie Ching DAP Assistant National Publicity Secretary & MP for Kulai