‘No need to amend Act to reduce AES fines’

PUTRAJAYA: There is no necessity to amend the existing Road Transport Act 1987 to reduce traffic fines under the Automated Enforcement System (AES), said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (pix).

In clarifying a statement by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi on Monday, Liow said the fixed rate of RM150 fine for speeding and red light-running offences under AES is only a compound discount over a period of time.

"The power to offer compound for certain offences under the Act, including AES, is under the jurisdiction of the Road Transport Department director-general.

"He can set any compound amount deemed suitable. So in this instance, we have decided that RM150 is the compound offer for offenders to settle AES summonses received in the past, at present and from this point forward without having to go to court," he told theSun.

He said the RM300 minimum fine under Section 79 (2) of the Act remains unchanged.

"The fine of not less than RM300 and not more than RM2,000 is on conviction by a court," Liow said, adding that no law amendment was necessary to initiate the fixed rate of RM150 compound.

He confirmed that there will be a period of six months for traffic offenders to settle the 2.5 million outstanding AES summonses.

"We will announce soon when we will start this time frame (of six months) to pay the compound," he said.

Liow also confirmed that a special court is not required to clear the colossal backlog of AES cases since 2012.

The matter came to light when AES Protest Secretariat chairman Zulhazmi Shariff criticised Liow's announcement two weeks ago on the fixed amount of RM150.

Zulhazmi had said the RM300 fine under AES is still applicable, "until present regulation is amended".

In April, Aziz had announced in Parliament that the proposal of RM150 compound was to coordinate the inter-agency summonses issued by RTD and police for similar offences.

Aziz had stated the compound proposal for certain offences "would be provided with a certain time period given".

"For instance RM150 must be paid within six months, if they fail to do so, the amount would be increased, you delay, you pay more," Aziz had stated.