Malaysia looking at raising traffic fines

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian police are considering increasing compound fines for traffic offences, The Star newspaper reported.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the suggestion was made in the light of the increasing number of accidents and fatalities, especially during the festive season. "I feel that Ops Selamat has not shown an improvement, especially in terms of fatal accidents," he said, referring to an integrated traffic enforcement operation carried out by the police.

"Yes, we do acknowledge an increase in the number of cars on the road, but the cause of most accidents is the bad attitude of motorists," he told reporters yesterday.

He said motorists were constantly showing poor road etiquette by driving on the emergency lane, speeding and beating traffic lights.

"This Ops Selamat, we have been doing more enforcement work, but still the number of accidents keeps increasing," he said. "We are looking at increasing the compound fines for traffic offences.

"The maximum compound of RM300 ($101) now is like peanuts for them. Maybe if we increase it, the hike will hurt the pockets of motorists enough to deter them from breaking the law."

A total of 489,606 accidents were reported last year, 2.8 per cent higher than 476,196 cases in 2014.

"During Chinese New Year last year, accidents went up by 18.8 per cent with 17,632 cases compared with 14,836 cases in 2014.

"Fatal accident cases were also higher last year by 22.4 per cent with 186 fatal accidents compared with 152 cases in 2014," Assistant Commissioner Ruslan Khalid, the federal traffic chief, told Bernama on Tuesday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2016, with the headline 'Malaysia looking at raising traffic fines'. Print Edition | Subscribe