Malaysia Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the Road Transport Department (JPJ) would come down hard on errant drivers who use their mobile phone behind the wheel.
Enforcement personnel and two types of cameras – static and mobile – would be deployed, and those caught red-handed would be slapped with a RM300 fine, reports TheStar.
“We prohibit drivers from using their handphones on the road. We have given them a lot of advice, yet there are many who still do so.
“Focus on the road and not your handphones when you are driving,” Liow said.
Strict action was necessary to reduce the number of accidents caused by using handphones while driving, he added.
The Minister said that using navigation apps such as Waze was permitted, but the mobile phone should be mounted on a phone holder.
Liow said the usage of handphones by drivers is one of the 20 offences that would soon be included into the Automated Awareness Safety System (AWAS), a combination of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) and demerit points system.
The Automated Enforcement System (AES) is the road safety enforcement system deployed by the Malaysia Government to monitor all federal roads, highways and expressways in Malaysia. This system came into operation on 22 September 2012.
“The accident rates are very high. There were 5,310 fatalities from January to September this year while for the whole of last year, there were 7,152 deaths.
“We want to reduce these figures by 10% every year and it is really challenging,” he said during a visit to his constituency here.
Liow said the main aim of executing strict enforcement was to save lives and not to penalise road users.
“If none of us break the rules, the roads will be safer for everyone,” he said.
Over 46,000 police summonses were issued to motorists for using their mobile phones while driving in 2016, an increase of almost 4,000 from 2015. The summonses for the offence carries a RM300 fine.