Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) Safety and Enforcement Department booked 79 pedestrians for jaywalking and collected a total of RM1,680 in fines, in an operation aimed at educating pedestrians at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, last Thursday.
The operation dubbed ‘Ops Jejantas’, was led by Inspector Baharuddin Salim and involved 22 enforcement officers, positioned on both sides of the road.
The operation was an initiative by DBKL to remind and inform the pedestrians of the dangers of jaywalking and was not intended to punish them, according to Inspector Baharuddin.
Jaywalkers are currently booked under Section 45, of the Road Transport Act 1999 (Akta Lalulintas 1999). The law stipulates that a pedestrian is required to use a bridge or zebra-crossing if one is present within a 100-metre radius, failure to do so is a violation of the law and offenders may be fined, according to Inspector Baharuddin.
The minimum fine is RM30.00 if paid on the spot or at any DBKL payment counter within 14 days, the fine however increases to RM50.00 if the deadline is not met, and continues to periodically increase, to RM150 after a month. The maximum fine for the offense of jaywalking is capped at RM500.00.
Most of the pedestrians caught were compliant to the enforcement officers and paid the fine on the spot, only a total of three pedestrians did not pay the fine when caught on the basis of not having enough money.
“We do not want to punish them, we just want them to realise the danger they put themselves in, without using the facilities provided to ensure their safety, like the pedestrian bridge” Inspector Baharuddin said.
However, contradictory to Inspector Baharuddin’s claim, the officers did not interfere, prevent or advise pedestrians before they crossed, even in some cases where the pedestrians were standing just beside the enforcement officers, waiting to cross the road.
The officers only acted on the pedestrians after they had committed the offense of jaywalking.
The logic behind the strategy was to make sure the pedestrians remembered the incident and the message, forcing them to think twice the next time they plan to cross, and also to get the community involved in deterring pedestrians to cross, according to Inspector Baharuddin.
“As you saw, nearby taxi drivers and locals began advising pedestrians not to cross, and that they would be fined if they did so, the community started getting involved.” he added.
DBKL collects on average more than RM 2000.00 during each three-hour long operation and up to RM3000.00 on a busy day, up to RM 50,000 annually.
Also during the operation, two members of the press were caught and sternly advised by DBKL enforcers to not set bad examples, they however were not fined and were let off the hook with only a slap on the wrist.
DBKL says they have done everything in their power to ensure the safety of pedestrians, from putting up pedestrian bridges to setting up barriers, but if pedestrians fail to understand the basic concept of road safety, then DBKL will be forced to continue operations such as this to continue to educate pedestrians and to spark concern in society.
DBKL also expressed disappointment on the attitude of the common pedestrian, completely disregarding common sense and law, and endangering their lives in the process.
The operation is held twice a month.
The operation is commonly held in two areas in the city, at the Petaling Street-Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock intersection, under the famous Petaling Street pedestrian bridge and in an unspecified area in Chow Kit.
When asked on pedestrian safety standards, DBKL reiterated that many facilities and laws already exist, but it is solely up to the pedestrians to make a difference.
A total 2,385 accidents involving pedestrians were reported in 2010, a slight decrease from 2,161 in 2009, but pedestrian fatalities has increased from 593 in 2009 to 626 pedestrian fatalities in 2010.
Ops Jejantas Photo Gallery
Photos by Prasadh Michael