Better driving habits and consideration for others will soon be a norm on the Penang island as the municipal council launched its traffic warden unit this morning to enforce clamping and towing on cars that block or hinder traffic flow.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng reiterated that the enforcement was meant to help alleviate traffic problems and not to burden the people.
“We hope to have the support of the public,” said Lim while acknowledging that this might rouse some dissatisfaction among certain quarters who in the past did not enforce the clamping as it was not a popular decision to make.
Amendments to the Road and Transportation Act 1987 were gazetted and approved in the Parliament early this year to enable the enforcements to take place. Lim also directed Patahiyah Ismail, the Yang Dipertua of the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) to propose an appropriate amount of additional allowance to motivate and compensate the twenty wardens in the unit for possibly having to put up with angry offenders.
The hotspots identified are the area surrounding Komtar, Pulau Tikus, and Burma Road – between Larut Road and Chow Thye Road.
Clamping will start on 23 May 2011. Although no fines will be imposed for a one week period, offenders will be given a warning. Drivers who double-park or disrupt traffic will have their car clamped and required to pay an on-the-spot fine of RM50 from June onwards. Receipts will be issued on the spot. Unclaimed cars will be towed away after 4 hours.
Those who find their cars clamped must call 04-2291179 (24 hours) to arrange for the clamp to be released. Officers are only available daily except during public holidays from 8 a.m. till 10 p.m.
Towed cars may make payment at the yard. Operating hours are the same except for a break between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Car owners should produce their identification cards and car registration to the enforcement officer-in-charge to retrieve their cars after paying the fine.