DEC 10 — The Automated Enforcement System (AES) is supposed to help cut down the number of accidents and road fatalities by making motorists slow down for fear of being caught and having to pay punitive fines.
Everyone gets that bit. Especially when there are enough reports of corrupt policemen or enforcement officials out there. Which leads to continuing mayhem and a loss of revenue for the government.
But that isn’t the reason to bulldoze the AES as the answer to ensuring laws are observed and those captured on film pay their fines and hopefully not continue speeding in the future.
The reasons are simple. Till today, the government can’t explain why the service has been privatised.
The initial cost cannot be the answer as the government will still have to upgrade the equipment once the service is handed back to them.
And why would any company run a system that works on being successful if it doesn’t capture anyone committing an offence any more?
The Road Transport Department (RTD) can say all it wants about a drop in the number of accidents or a reduction in speeding with the AES but no one believes the agency because there is no independent verification system.
And where do most major or fatal accidents occur in the first place? Who are the fatalities? Motorists or motorcyclists or pedestrians?
The RTD needs to come up with a better explanation and engage the public about the AES to ensure that it is a system that will help in cutting down accidents and fatalities, not help line some people’s pockets.
Until then, no one will believe the system will work for what it is intended to do.
And most will oppose the government for bulldozing the system despite the outcry. That itself should be food for thought for the RTD and the government of the day.