M'sia nabs S'pore drivers for $27m outstanding traffic fines
M'sia launches operation to nab motorists with unpaid fines
On Sunday, she was driving home after her weekly trip to Malaysia when she noticed a string of cars lining up at the Johor Baru Eastern Dispersal Link Expressway (EDL) in Pandan.
Curious, Madam Hairina Abu Bakar took a closer look and realised all the cars in the queue were from Singapore.
When it came to her turn, a traffic police officer informed her that she had an outstanding traffic fine of RM300 (S$110) for a speeding offence in 2010.
"I was completely shocked," the 38-year-old bank executive, who regularly visits her Malaysian relatives, told The New Paper.
"I was not informed of the fine earlier. I could not even remember if I was the one driving."
Madam Hairina's vehicle was among the 5,000 from Singapore that were stopped in Malaysia during a three-day operation which began on Friday to nab people with outstanding traffic fines.
In the operation, 240 traffic police officersset up road blocks at three locations - the Eastern Dispersal Link highway, the Second Link Bridge and a main road from Kota Tinggi to Johor Baru.
Bukit Aman Traffic Police Staff Officer, Superintendent (Supt) Zulkefly Yahya, told Sin Chew Jit Poh: "The operation was held for three consecutive days at three different locations."
In total, Singapore vehicles accounted for 518,510 unsettled traffic summonses. The number, which amounted to an estimated RM75 million, made up 71 per cent of the traffic fines issued to non-Malaysians from 2000 to 2015.
"During this operation, 4,201 fines were paid," Supt Zulkefly said. "Some motorists even had 20 outstanding fines each."
The 4,201 fines that were paid during the operation constituted 8 per cent of the total outstanding sum.
The fines were mostly for speeding and beating red lights.
Madam Hairina, who recalled seeing many motorists paying fines during the check, said Singaporeans who have committed traffic offences in Malaysia should pay the fines.
"It's only fair if everyone plays a part to ensure safer roads," she said.
Another motorist who drive regularly into Malaysia, Madam Roslinda Tajudin, agreed.
The 42-year-old said drivers should abide by the speed limits in Singapore and in other countries.
She also said they should pay their fines the moment they are informed.
According to Supt Zulkefly, the operation would raise the awareness of traffic laws in Malaysia.
He said: "This operation is conducted to educate foreign motorists. I hope foreigners would better understand the traffic laws in Malaysia."
CHECK ONLINE TO SEE IF YOU HAVE OUTSTANDING FINES
Singapore motorists who do not wish to be surprised by the traffic police when visiting Malaysia can check if they have any outstanding summons.
The myeg.com.my portal also has a free service to remind registered users if they have any new summons. Drivers can also pay their fines at post offices and police stations in Malaysia.
Malaysian authorities have recently tightened checks on Singapore-registered cars that owe traffic fines across the Causeway. In an operation conducted between Dec 27 last year and Jan 1, several drivers were stopped by Malaysian police and asked to pay multiple traffic fines on the spot, a Straits Times report said.
Malaysia will be introducing the Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system to help police detect traffic offenders more efficiently. The system is expected to be operational by August.
Bukit Aman Traffic Police staff officer, Superintendent Zulkefly Yahya, told Bernama news agency that under the first phase, ANPR scanners would be installed at nine entry points on the Malaysian border.