Discriminatory to target big-car owners

Vehicles travelling on the Central Expressway.
Vehicles travelling on the Central Expressway.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

A person who owns a luxury car is not necessarily wealthy (NMP suggests fines pegged to value of car to boost road safety, July 9). If we introduce fines based on the value of vehicles, why wouldn't we apply that principle to all fines and punishments? It is discriminatory to target the owners of big cars.

Who decides who is rich enough to drive a luxury car?

Traffic tickets should not be proportionate to wealth because fines are not a tax. If a judge feels that an offender would not be deterred by a small fine, he has the discretion to increase the fine as well as the number of demerit points given. Every citizen should face the same consequences, whether rich or poor.

Personal items like cars should not be a factor when punishments for traffic violations are meted out, otherwise there would be fewer people buying luxury cars.

Traffic tickets should not be proportionate to wealth because fines are not a tax. If a judge feels that an offender would not be deterred by a small fine, he has the discretion to increase the fine as well as the number of demerit points given.

Our justice system is based on equality, and making inequality an official policy would be a dangerous precedent. Instead, consider a "time-based fine", which would penalise those who commit traffic offences during peak hours or congested periods, when more people would be affected.

Cheng Choon Fei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2019, with the headline 'Discriminatory to target big-car owners'. Print Edition | Subscribe