Tuesday, November 23, 2004

1 year license renewal period? NOT!

Hallway Posted by Hello

A hallway of the session court in Kuala Lumpur on a weekend, quite without trials.

The recent news on reforming the traffic police sure bring about some bad taste in my mouth. I’m all for a more efficient and clean cop force but some of the implemented or suggested ideas does not make any sense at all. The first was the decision to slap a compound fine of RM300 on the spot for offences such as speeding, overtaking on double lines and using the emergency lane. Though it provides a means to elevate the incidence of bribery so prevalent now, it does have its kinks. One is that not many people especially us students bring along that much cash with us when we drive. Does it mean we have to fork out every last cent to pay as down payment and rush to the bank and withdraw the rest to pay the fine? Or does it mean we’ll have to call a parental guardian to come and pick us up and pay for the fine? I can just hear it “Dad, can you come pick me up by the corner of Main street?” “My license is being held by this nice datuk and he wants his cash before I can go on.” Don’t mention that this is giving the policeman too much power to become judge, jury and executioner with no avenue to plead your case. Besides not preventing bribery, the urge to get out of being issued a summon and bribing the police to look the other way would be higher. I've been apprehended too many times while driving on the Karak Highway by the police that argued I went over the speed limit of 70 km/h (which is absurd since it is 90km/h) and not allowed to argue.

Yesterday, the Star came out with a report that a plan would be mooted to put into effect a one year dateline to renew driver’s license in a bid to foil summon skippers. First of all, my grouse would be it would be impractical, the majority of law abiding citizens that never even skips a ticket payment would be inconvenienced beyond belief by a need to go to the Road and Transport Department (RTD) on a yearly basis to renew our right to drive. I’m studying in Kk and the nearest office is like way off in Penampang which cannot be reached without transport (of which I have none here) and the time it’ll take to process it, who has the time? I usually head back to my hometown during semester breaks and with wheels courtesy of my dad to get it done. Here, with classes and a lack of transport how do they expect people to complete the process, am I doomed to drive without a valid license? For those going overseas, I wonder if it’ll affect them tremendously. If the police wants to get traffic offense dodgers, give them the power to drag them to court from their homes, don’t involve us. I like my five year renewal option, it’s gives me the convenience I need without much of the bother to go through the bureaucratic process too often. Note make the process easier and maybe I'll consider a 2 to 3 year renewal period palatable

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