Act Fast Against Those With Multiple Traffic Summonses Says Criminologist


 
The Toyota Alphard caught on video speeding and overtaking in the emergency lane. The driver also behaved provocatively towards other road users. (Police pic)PETALING JAYA: A criminologist has called on the authorities to act sooner against drivers and owners of vehicles with numerous outstanding summonses following reports that an alleged road bully had 56 unpaid tickets.
P Sundramoorthy of Universiti Sains Malaysia questioned how the car owner had managed to renew the vehicle’s road tax and insurance despite the outstanding summonses.
“It’s worrying that the intervention from the authorities only came after a video of the suspect driving recklessly went viral,” he told FMT.
His comments come in the wake of the arrest of an alleged road bully who was filmed driving dangerously and overtaking in the emergency lane, besides behaving provocatively towards other road users.
P Sundramoorthy.Police later revealed that the Toyota Alphard used by the suspect had 56 outstanding summonses.
Sundramoorthy said many probably believed they could get away with offences like speeding, driving recklessly and intimidating others on the road, and this was why reports or viral videos of reckless driving were still common.
“As long as people think they can get away with it or get off lightly, we will continue to see cases like this,” he said, adding that those caught for traffic offences must also be made to do community service instead of just paying summonses.
He said the authorities should also make vehicle owners liable for the actions of those behind the wheel.
“For example, we still see many lorries and express buses speeding on the highway. To me, after a vehicle gets a number of summonses, it should not be allowed on the road until all the summonses are settled and their drivers are made to do community service.”
Law Teik Hua.Law Teik Hua of Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) Road Safety Research Centre said the traffic enforcement system was overly lenient and did not effectively control traffic violations.
“Because of the low detection rate of traffic violations and the failure rate in taking legal action against the offender, road users do not adhere to traffic laws,” he told FMT.
He urged the authorities to stop giving discounts for traffic summonses and to initiate legal action more frequently against drivers who misbehaved.
Law also said the authorities needed to properly define a “frequent traffic offender”, including frequency and type of infractions, as this would enable them to identify and act against severe offenders.
This, he added, could be more effectively done if the Road Transport Department and police traffic databases were linked. - FMT


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