AES — you can run but you can’t hide

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PUTRAJAYA — Close to 200,000 images of errant drivers speeding and beating the lights were captured by the Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras between Jan 1 and May 15.

However, only 43,312 summonses had been issued to date.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, in revealing the statistics, said fancy number plates were among some of the reasons that made it difficult for enforcers to locate vehicle owners.

Aziz said out of the 184,791 images captured in the first five months of the year, 160,489 were of motorists speeding up to 40km/h more than the speed limit, while 8,061 images of those exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h were captured. He said 38,929 summonses for the speeding offences had been issued so far.

“There was a motorist caught speeding close to 210km/h and that was captured by the AES on one of the highways. The driver will be receiving his fine soon,” Aziz said.

He, however, declined to reveal where and when the offence took place.

The system caught 16,241 images showing motorists running the red light and 4,383 summonses had been issued.

“The summonses are being issued in stages but there are some cases where the number plates are not visible. This is because these fancy numbers plates do not follow the specifications set by the Road Transport Department.”

He said this will be addressed soon through a crackdown by the department on illegal number plates.

“The images are being looked at thoroughly to avoid any disputes. That is also the reason why issuing the summonses takes time.”

The Sri Gading MP also revealed seven more cameras would be installed this year, in addition to the 14 cameras already in place nationwide.

Among the seven new locations would be in Johor and Kelantan — identified as accident-prone areas.

Aziz said, for now, the AES only caught those speeding and running red lights.

In November last year, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai announced the AES was back in operations after it was suspended since 2012.

Liow said those who had collected AES summonses were required to pay up.

He added those who failed to settle their summonses would be blacklisted and would not be allowed to renew their road tax. The government, however, was still deciding if the offenders would be dragged to court.

The summonses were at RM150 each, he added.

More cameras would be installed in the next few years under the new Awareness Automated Safety System (Awas) — a merger between AES and the Kejara demerit system.

The Kejara and AES met several roadblocks since they were introduced in 1997 and in 2011 respectively, with both put on hold.

AES started in September 2012 but saw public uproar. Three months later, the attorney-general halted all proceedings related to summonses issued under AES to study legal issues raised following a massive rejection.

A year later, the government took over the AES. In 2015, Boustead Holdings Bhd and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera were linked to take over.

On Feb 24 last year, Liow announced the merger of AES and Kejara and introduced Awas, adding it was a holistic approach to reduce accidents in the country.