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Dr M Weighs In on AES

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Given the relentless Pakatan Rakyat attacks on AES for political reasons, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has felt compelled to make his thoughts known on the issue.

In his latest blog posting, Dr M rightly points out that no one in the West objected to having electronic devices that can measure the speed of cars and identify drivers breaking the speed limit.

Yet here in Malaysia, Pakatan Rakyat is still splitting hairs on the life-saving measure, despite speed cameras being internationally acknowledged for reducing road fatalities by enhancing the perception of motorists that they would be booked for speeding.

This system is sorely needed in Malaysia. With over 17 people dying needlessly every day in accidents across the nation, ours is one of the most dangerous countries to be a motorist today.

According to the annual report by the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD), we have the highest number of road fatalities per 100,000 people, with a 23.8 fatality rate, far higher than countries like the United Kingdom (3.1) or even the United States (10.6).

Speed cameras are necessary in Malaysia since speeding is the biggest killer on our roads. According to IRTAD, "The most frequent type of collision is due to loss of control (25.6%), which is mostly associated with speeding."

Director-General of the Road Transport Department (RTD) Datuk Solah Mat Hassan recently said that, following the implementation of AES at 14 locations, the rate of traffic offences at these locations had fallen by 75 per cent. That's an impressive achievement.

This means that it is even more important for Malaysians to have this world-class traffic system, whatever Pakatan leaders may think.

The respected former prime minister made it clear that the government's effort is to save lives, reduce accidents on the roads, and bring down the number of deaths on our roads.

Yet the Opposition has tried to claim that this somehow infringes our "human rights", as if motorists have a right to speed, and why is the government trying to stop them?

This is a dangerous argument by Pakatan, Dr M said. He pointed out that democratic politics has reached such a high level in our nation that even an effort to save lives suddenly becomes "an issue to be opposed".

"Without laws that restrict speed, thousands will die each year. Is this what we want? Do we want to wait until we lose a family member on the road and then we'll get this AES?" he wrote.

Any attempt by the Opposition to make AES a political issue should be resisted, said Dr M. He rightly points out that strong laws are simply not enough, stringent enforcement is also needed.

And if it takes speed cameras to make motorists drive carefully on our roads, so be it.

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+1 # mustapha ong 2013-01-29 07:38
In the interest of the nation, I think the government should not bow to the criticism of the opposition as they are out to politicise the AES issue which is now being stored in abeyance.I agree with Tun Mahathir's views on the matter.

The opposition especially DAP had put sand into the rice bowl of many people in trying to implement the project quickly with some financial risk involved.

Lim Guan Eng and company will have to pay dearly for it as many of the management staff had been laid off and the bank who are making their final calls for the repayment of their loans that runs into hundreds of million ringgit.

I hope the government will act responsibly and not "flip flop SOP". Live saving is more important than making some money in the process in a transparent way. No Ali Baba style as in the past. The people should judge this AES with full conscience and responsibility towards all of us who are road users.
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