Another national holiday is slowly approaching and while it comes with awesome celebrations, it also often results in a road filled with cars. This Chinese New Year (CNY), the Royal Police Department (PDRM) will be deploying tools and enforcement aiming to keep the roads safe for everyone. These tools include ‘in-car radar’ devices used for speed detection and the Intelligent Compound Online Payment System (iCOPS) that will detect traffic offenders that have outstanding summonses and traffic offence arrest warrants. This embracing of new technology is in line with the traffic investigation and enforcement department (JSPT)’s new method of using viral dashcam footage to catch traffic offenders.
According to PLUS Malaysia chairman Datuk Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif, up to 1.6 million vehicles are expected to be on the road this CNY, especially on January 28 and 29, as well as February 2 and 5. In addition to the tools mentioned earlier, regular enforcement operations, as well as 246 PLUSRonda teams, will be on duty during this time period.
So, how do these tools work? Well, the police have always had access to speed detection devices, but they now also have in-car radars to help ensure that motorists keep within the speed limit. iCOPS, on the other hand, are smart cameras that will detect fraudulent vehicles, such as ones with fake number plates, theft records, or any involvement in criminal cases. This tool will also help with storing and building a database of vehicle profiles that might be used for police analysis in the future. With these tools in place, the PDRM hopes to reduce minor and fatal accidents that might happen during the upcoming season as well as the future.
This is a continuation of a traffic safety operation that started in 2001 called Ops Selamat, formerly known as Ops Sikap. Due to the Movement Control Order (MCO), Ops Selamat has not been implemented for two years, but it is now relaunched and back in action. Deputy IGP Datuk Razarudin Husain says that this operation is carried out to prevent burglary and minimise road accidents during the festive season.
Road safety is no joke. During the Chinese New Year in 2020, there were 16,942 road crashes and 171 deaths reported in 11 days, which means there were 15.55 deaths per day on Malaysian roads. I know we sometimes like to joke around and say “just slow down when you see a police car!”, but I urge you to drive responsibly, especially in the coming weeks. Being ten minutes early isn’t worth your life.