IN the wake of the nationwide crackdown on errant motorists with outstanding summonses under Ops Warta, Ipoh folk think that incentives can be a good way to encourage traffic offenders to settle them.
Those interviewed by MetroPerak agreed that discounts are the best form of encouragement, while some think the hefty fine of summonses, that could go up to a few hundred ringgit each, should be reduced.
Some also proposed a different form of payment to make it more convenient for people who can’t afford to settle it all at once.
Assistant store manager T. Yugesvari, 25, said giving discounts of 20% to 30% for those who have accumulated summonses will probably work.
“Perhaps they can also consider what PTPTN is doing, and allow us to pay in instalments.
“I think the amount of one traffic summons is too high, and this could be the reason why people tend to be negligent in settling them,” she said, referring to the National Higher Education Fund Corporation that provides schemes for people to pay monthly instalments of RM100 a month.
It was reported recently that 69 individuals were arrested on the first day of Ops Warta this year, with Penang having the highest number of traffic offenders who were arrested (36 arrests).
Four days after the operation started on May 19, more than 3,800 traffic offenders have turned themselves in, while 836 motorists were arrested nationwide.
Relating her own experience, Yugesvari said she had just travelled to Petaling Jaya two weeks ago to attend a company meeting.
“It was in a very busy area, and I think I must have gone around the area 20 times to find a parking lot, but I did not.
“I was also pressed for time because I didn’t want to be late for my meeting, so I parked my car at a space I found and after seeing a car leave the spot.
“It was just for a short while, and I was slapped with a RM150 summons,” she said, adding that it was a frustrating experience.
Yugesvari also suggested for the traffic police to be more understanding towards people’s plights by holding public campaigns to meet with traffic offenders and hear their side of the story.
A salesperson, who wished to be known only as Nor, 42, agreed that paying in instalments is the best way to get people to settle their summonses.
“Most people ignore it because summonses are too expensive for them.
“If they offer more ways for people to pay, I think more Malaysians will be more willing to settle it instead of pretending the summonses don’t exist,” she said.
Nor also said the police can consider opening up more channels for people to reach them, like a hotline.
“This is because some might be too busy with work to make time to settle their summonses or appeal at the police station,” she said.
Sales manager Eric Chin, 29, suggested a 50% discount for those who settle their summonses within one month from the date they receive it.
“Traffic summonses are very expensive, and if you get it once, it could be around RM300.
“I used to get many traffic summonses when I was working in Grik because I didn’t know the speed limit on the road was only 60km/h.
“This amount can be very hard to pay up for people who are wage earners,” he said.
As for an engineer, who wished to be known only as Aaron, 27, said he thinks that shortening the grace period to 15 days will make the summonses seem more urgent.
He also suggested for the police to have one day in a month to allow people to settle their summonses with discounts.
“I’ve never got one before, but sometimes incentives could work better instead of implementing harsher punishments,” he said.
Meanwhile, bank manager Lee Wai Leng, 46, thinks the current way of punishing traffic offenders with outstanding summonses, by not allowing them to renew their driver’s licence and road tax, is the best way to go about it.
“Have more road blocks frequently to check on the drivers, I think this can be effective if they enforce it further.
“But of course, they have to be open to the appeals of traffic offenders, because sometimes the pictures taken aren’t very clear, and it may not even be them who don’t follow traffic rules,” she said.
Stressing that it is important to be a responsible road user, Lee said that the attitude of settling summonses right away can be inculcated at an early age.
“Educate children from young, so that they can avoid being a negligent traffic offender in the future,” she said.