Format of fine notices not entirely the problem

Revamping composition fine notices will certainly save court time and related administrative work ("Arresting the number of cases going to court"; July 16).

Perhaps the notices can be accompanied by an electronic notification as well, to prevent miscommunication.

However, I do not believe the notice format is entirely the problem.

Any law-abiding person will pay attention when something with a government letterhead arrives, especially after he knows he has committed a misdemeanour.

But the fact that there are people who ignore three reminders and skip five court sessions means the human dimension is involved, and the problem is deeper, requiring more than just a revamp of notices.

A more effective and efficient method is needed.

For car-related offences, offenders should automatically face justice when they renew their road tax, transfer ownership or scrap their cars.

With tighter inter-agency coordination, records of offences can be shared, and the sums involved easily recovered by incorporating them into the yearly payable amount, or deduction from monies due for the transferring or scrapping of the car.

For non-car-related offences, like littering, the amount can be deducted from things like government handouts and rebates.

In this way, minimum or no court time is involved.

In cases involving foreigners, the revamp of the composition fine notice is apt, as there could be genuine reasons for non-compliance, such as language difficulties, cultural differences or lack of understanding of local law.

Seow Joo Heng