As a law-abiding citizen, you might be a little confused by the title.
Har? Fines got discount one meh? So you mean now instead of breaking the speed limit once, I break the speed limit twice for the price of one?
Before we get into that, let’s talk about what is actually being given.
Discount Applicable For All Compoundable Summonses
The Road Transport Department (JPJ) of Malaysia is offering a 70% discount on summons for the month of August.
This includes all compoundable summonses for offences under the Road Transport Act and Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act and other rules and orders under it, including cases that are still blacklisted.
And it’s applicable at all JPJ branches in Malaysia, including urban transformation centres and other payment channels like mySIKAP Portal, JPJ Kiosk and JPJ Mobile.
Not The First Discount Given
This isn’t the first time a traffic fine discount was given in Malaysia.
In Oct 2019, police in Penang offered a 50% for traffic summonses, which led to queues forming as early as 1 am with many people travelling across states to settle the fines.
Some had their summonses unpaid years ago, with one even had summonses unpaid to back in 2003.
Wait, you can delay fines for so long? Woah.
Another discount was given near Christmas last year in Kuala Lumpur, leading to similarly long queues.
Not too long ago, in May this year, that was offered as well for 4 days to alleviate their citizens’ financial burdens due to COVID-19.
In those times, they were given a short period of a few days, so perhaps the queues will be shorter this time.
The Rationale For Traffic Fine Discounts
As you can tell from the person who delayed fine settlements from all the way back in 2003, there is a very real possibility that some people will never pay their fines ever.
Giving discounts encourages people to settle those fines.
But if you’re wondering why are they not dragged to court, all I can give you is a shrug.
There are also other reasons to give traffic fine discounts, as explained in a discussion between the more qualified Pritam Singh and K Shanmugam in Parliament back in March 2020.
As explained by Pritam, fines affect low income more than the others. They might not be able to pay the fines at one go.
In response, Shanmugam said that the Traffic Police already assess this on a case-by-case basis for those who can’t afford fines. They have offered instalment plans but not discounts for fines.
Demerit points are also assessed on a case-by-case basis.
So no, this isn’t a Don’t Say Bojio deal of two traffic offences for the price of one.
Of course, this also raises many questions. Like if this is fair to those who already paid their fines. Or if this encourages people to not pay their fines until the next discount. But that’s a discussion for next time.