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HIGHER PENALTIES: Fines of up to RM2,000 for various offences
KUALA LUMPUR: IN a bid to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities, the government has proposed harsher penalties for offenders.
With about 7,000 lives lost on the road yearly, Malaysia has some of the highest fatalities.
As such, the government tabled the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2012 at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. Under the proposed amendments, motorists will pay up to RM2,000 for various offences.
This includes speeding, with a minimum fine of RM300 and a maximum of RM2,000. Currently, the maximum is RM1,000, while there is no minimum.
Tabled by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, the amendments also call for the same minimum and maximum fine for those driving without proper licences. However, a maximum jail term of three months may also be imposed for the offence.
At present, those caught driving without a licence can be fined up to RM1,000, without a minimum amount.
But not all the amendments involve an increase in fines.
A new provision, designed to reduce congestion at traffic-light junctions, allows
motorists to turn left even if the light is red.
However, this can only be done where a sign authorising such turns is placed at the site. Motorists must also stop at the line to ascertain if it is safe to turn.
Those who do not follow these rules before making the turn are liable to a minimum fine of RM300 and a maximum of RM2,000.
The bill also proposes that the Road Transport Department be authorised to do traffic control and enforcement work, unlike only policemen and traffic wardens at present.
Disobeying these officers as well as any traffic signs on the road anywhere will result in a minimum fine of RM300 and a maximum of RM2,000, compared with just a maximum of RM500 now.