Road bullies caught in the act


  • On Your Side
  • Friday, 21 Nov 2014

With more and more drivers installing dashboard cameras, the acts of these tyrants are being captured on screen.

I HAD been toying around with the idea of installing a dashboard camera in my car for some time now.

The viral video of a road bully spitting on the windscreen of a woman’s car and damaging it has now convinced me to install one as soon as possible.

Disgust, anger and indignation – those were my first emotions when I viewed the now infamous video of the road rage incident.

The victim Alisa Thean, who captured the video on her smartphone, was on the Subang Jaya USJ-Shah Alam stretch on Tuesday morning.

She said the assault came after she honked at the man for repeatedly switching lanes.

The man apparently became angry and stopped his vehicle in the middle of the inner lane.

He then walked over to the victim’s car, drew his face close to the windscreen and showed his tongue at the driver before spitting. Not satisfied, he then broke the wiper and damaged the side mirror.

But barely 24 hours after the video went viral, the police nabbed the perpetrator at his home – hence my feeling of relief that the suspect did not get away, and also of gratitude that the cops had acted which such speed, following a huge public outcry on social media.

I believe the suspect would have been caught eventually after the victim had lodged a police report on the same day of the incident, but the viral video certainly expedited the process.

Sharing her video and images on her Facebook account sparked a furious response from netizens and this in turn caught media attention and the video was uploaded on practically all the local Malaysian news portals.

The case is being investigated under Section 427 and 506 of the Penal Code for committing mischief, damages and criminal intimidation.

The suspect faces up to two years in prison and a fine for each charge.

The Subang Jaya incident happened a few hours before another road rage case in Kuala Lumpur, near Changkat Bukit Bintang.

In the KL incident, taxi driver Chong Kim Fah, 48, was arrested for assaulting a 26-year-old woman who refused to make way for him in the narrow street.

Images of the incident, including the bruised features of the victim, were also uploaded on Facebook and soon went viral. Yesterday, he was fined RM1,000 in default two months’ jail.

But coming back to my intention to purchase a dashboard camera.

I had originally intended to get one after an incident that happened near my workplace.

A driver, whose car was fitted with one of these devices, caught a smash-and-grab incident along the Sprint Highway before the turnoff into Jalan Abu Bakar.

This video, which has also gone viral, showing a motorcyclist and his pillion driver smashing the windscreen of a female driver and grabbing her handbag before speeding away.

I don’t really know if the perpetrators in this case were ever caught.

My research into obtaining one of these dashboard cameras shows that they are relatively easy to operate and are also surprisingly cheap.

Walk in to any car accessory shop and the odds are that dashboard cameras are among their most saleable items.

They range from a paltry RM68 to upwards of RM1,000 depending on the specifications of the model and also recording resolution and memory capacity.

I also discovered that taxi drivers are adding a second set of lens to their dashboard cameras. This records the interior of their cabs.

Why? You guessed it. The increasing number of taxi drivers being assaulted and robbed by their passengers.

I honestly believe that the installation of in-car cameras will soon be common place in Malaysia.

They are normal practice in Europe andthe United States, where a number of car manufacturers issue them as standard for new vehicles. The camera footage can be used by the police and Road Transport Department as traffic evidence and it certainly can be used against road bullies.

Anyway, the onus is now on us to do something about these road rage cases.

Install a dashboard camera, because you could be the next victim of a road bully,

> Executive Editor Brian Martin believes that the cases of road bullies terrorising innocent drivers will drop drastically when they realise someone, somewhere may have recorded their act. Dashboard cameras will play a crucial role in road safety and security.


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Opinion , Brian Martin , road bully , road rage

   

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