GOMBAK : Transport Minister Kong Cho Ha has come under criticism for the recent deployment of speed and traffic light cameras under the new Automated Traffic Enforcement System (AES).
“This is not profiteering,” Kong told journalists, “but rather than reducing road fatalities by holding Malaysian made cars to international safety standards, we have decided to implement AES and rake in some cash instead. Sophisticated speed cameras manufactured by companies such as Redflex(USA), Gatso (Netherlands), JENOPTIK (Germany) cost between RM100 -200,000 but they need to be specially calibrated before they can be used on Malaysian roads so we are buying them from Ates Sdn Bhd and the until recently dormant Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd for around RM800,000 per camera.”
Datuk V.K. Lingam was one of the first motorists to receive an AES speeding ticket and commented on a photograph taken by a high-resolution 16-megapixel speed camera, “This looks like me and the guy drives like me but it could be anyone on the highway near my house driving my BMW like that.”
“The cameras need to be carefully checked to ensure only genuine offenses are recorded,” explained Kong, “cameras recently picked up some Transport Ministry officials doing 120km/hr on foot rushing to bank the supplier kickbacks from the AES deployment which is surely a mistake.”
The Prime Minister weighed in on the matter, “The AES will definitely change the behavior of speeding motorists. There is something very powerful when lawbreakers are subject to the same punishment without exception. They have the genuine perception of being caught (POBC). I think that is why we are having the level of success we are having eliminating corruption in Malaysia,” he said. “Motorists can always slow down a bit when they see the cameras watching, a bit like we do in government when one of us is being investigated. Then you can go back to your bad old ways when you are sure nobody is watching!”
“The key to AES saving lives will be locating them only in high risk traffic zones.” said a Transport Ministry spokesman, “In Australia the NSW state government decommissioned 25% of its speed cameras in 2011 claiming the camera’s ‘appear to have no significant road safety benefit.’ The problem is we have had to guarantee Beta Tegap and Commercial Circle a certain level of speeding ticket revenue to recover the cost of this RM800 Million supplier funded project. We need motorists to drive faster to ensure these revenue targets are met.”
MCA supporter and Director of Beta Tegap Shd Bhd, Kat Ching Ka told FMN, “The Australian experience of reducing road toll deaths using speed cameras is very comforting to me. Especially since I’m planning to take my family on a luxurious driving holiday around Melbourne to spend all these juicy profits!”
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