Crossing Cambodia

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fair deal?

As an avid reader of this blog may have noticed, Cambodia's over the Gulf of Thailand's neighbour, Malaysia, is a world apart from Cambodia. Or is it?
The Government of Malaysia perceives that ensuring road safety is an essential part of their core tasks and is trying in various innovative ways to improve road safety. The government site [sorry, link has been severed by Malaysian government, see blog on February 26] focuses on this and one way of achieving this has been through a Hall of Fame / Shame. However, to induce the public to help during the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, the general public has been requested to send photo's of offenders and will reward the best entrants with a daily cash bonus of 150 MR (a little more than 40 $US). At least that what's what they intend, according to their own site:

Photograph offenders, get reward
Nurris Ishak and V.SHuman

KUALA LUMPUR: If you are on the road anytime from today until Feb 25, watch out.

You will be watched all the way along federal roads and highways.

The police, the Road Transport Department and the Road Safety Department are working in concert to ensure road fatalities are reduced this Chinese New Year season.

And they are not the only ones keeping an eye out for errant motorists.

The Road Safety Department has invited public to submit photographs of motorists committing traffic offences.

To ensure good response, it is having a competition for the best picture.

The holiday season competition was launched on Friday and will end on Feb 25, with daily rewards of RM150 for the best picture of the day, and RM100 and RM50 for second and third best pictures.

The pictures will be displayed on the department’s "Hall of Shame/Hall of Merit" website.

"The cash rewards are only for a limited period and will run until Feb 25.

"We want to get the public to participate in our efforts to make our roads safer and the rewards are our way of showing our appreciation for the public’s efforts," said department director-general Datuk Suret Singh.

"We are getting the community involved in an effort to make Malaysian roads safer.

"When they take pictures of queue jumpers, overloaded lorries or motorists running the red light, they give us the information we need to nab the culprits.

"They can send the pictures to the website and get rewarded for their efforts," said Suret.

Suret said the pictures posted at the "Hall of Shame" at would be the "censored" versions, with the car plate numbers blurred.

"The original pictures will show the vehicles’ number plates. The information will be passed to the Road Transport Department which will track down the owners.

"We don’t issue a summons based on the photograph. It is up to the RTD to take the next step," added Suret.

Currently, the website displays 1,454 pictures of offenders and offences. The website was launched in July 2005.

Meanwhile, RTD enforcement director Salim Parlan said yesterday the department would put up bases at accident-prone areas to force motorists to slow down at dangerous stretches.

Called Ops Black Spot, it is being carried out simultaneously with Ops Sikap XII (which started yesterday and ends on Feb 25). Ops Sikap was launched yesterday by federal traffic police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner II Datuk Nooryah Md Anvar at the Jalan Duta bus station.

Twelve policemen will be riding in express buses to prevent the drivers from speeding or driving recklessly.

Nooryah warned that anyone who flouted traffic rules would be fined RM300 on the spot.
The article then gives some views from the general public, mostly positive though some question the method of rewarding the photo's with a maximum of 150 RM, while the offender get's a fine of 300 RM! And there seem to be some issues with dates: could an entrant send in older photo's? Well, despite the article mentioning that it is already in operation, until now no prizes unfortunately. Here's an entry from earlier this year:

'Four school boys without helmets and they're late for school, along trunk/federal road between Kampar and Gopeng'.
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