TRAFFIC offenders will be shown no mercy this Chinese New Year.
They will be hauled to court for offences that were previously punishable by only a fine.
Those driving on the emergency lane, speeding, continuously driving on the fast lane, overtaking at the double-line, using the mobile phone, not fastening the seat belt, and for beating the red light beware.
Road Transport Department (JPJ) director-general Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron said last year during the Hari Raya period only those driving on the emergency lane were taken to court.
“After seeing the response in the last operation, we thought it would be good to impose the same penalty for other offences too to ensure the roads are safe during the festive season.
“We discussed with the Transport Ministry and other agencies on this move,” he told reporters after monitoring the traffic at the North-South Expressway (NSE) on the eve of Chinese New Year in Tapah.
The operation started on Jan 21 and will end Feb 5.
About 40,000 cars were checked and 16,500 summonses were issued for various offences while 1,074 photos of speeding vehicles had been taken.
“What surprises me is that, there are notices of the cameras, yet they speed. They will soon get their ang pow,” he joked.
Nadzri said the department used three enforcement methods to detect emergency lane abusers and heavy vehicles using the right lane.
First is to stop those using the emergency lane, while the second is getting tip-off from road users who send pictures of the offenders to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The third is monitoring through closed circuit televisions placed by Plus at the highway.
“This surveillance is to see the traffic flow from Kuala Lumpur to the north. Plus expects the traffic to triple this year,” he said.
So far JPJ issued 100 summonses for those using the emergency lane, 347 for not fastening the seat belts.
Those beating the traffic light stood at 250 while 158 were caught for using hand phone while driving.
PLUS Malaysia Bhd chief executive Datuk Azman Ismail who was present said traffic was smooth but the volume increased for the festive season.
He said the traffic was worst last Thursday and Friday with Thursday recording 1.7 million vehicles.
“JPJ’s ban on heavy vehicles those two days worked well.
“On normal days, there are 1.4 million cars. It’s a big increase and we’ve prepared by opening more toll booths and enlisting the help of several agencies,” he added.