The Malaysian Road Transport Act

Last week, I was stopped by the police for beating the red light.

Policeman: You tau apa salah? (Do you know what offence you have committed?)
Me: You beritahu saya (You tell me) (so that I do not incriminate myself)

After producing my license and identity card, he scribbled many things on to his notepad. On his right chest, there was a white “Saya Anti Rasuah” (meaning that they are against bribing) badge.
Just as I was waiting for the ‘magic words’, the policeman said , “Saman?” (Asking me whether to issue me a summon).

I answered, “OK”.

Minutes later, I was given a ‘Saman’ and after perusing the ‘saman’, I found that I have given a notice to appear in court to answer the charges against me. WTF!! I have to appear in court because I beat the red light??

It’s not the first time I’ve been issued a ‘saman’ for traffic offences but this is the first time I actually took time to peruse the details. The policeman has fixed a date in October 2006 for me to appear before a Magistrate at the Raja Laut Court.

To me, I wouldn’t mind appearing before the Magistrate and also it would be a good opportunity to experience first hand as a Defendant. Further, I have already made preparations on the things that I want to say to the Judge to reduce my fine e.g. I was not speeding that time and I have no previous serious traffic offences blabla.

However, it is always best to settle this matter by compounding the offence (to pay the fine). Unfortunately, the Notice I received did not mention which law I had broken. I had to do a research on it.
My research was quite fruitful. I discoverd that the ‘saman’ that the policeman issued was a standard notice.

The traffic offence that I committed was under Section 79(2) of the Road Transport Act 1987 (“RTA”) where it states that any person who fails or neglect to conform to the indication given by a sign (in this case beating the red light) shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred ringgit. (RM500!!)

Also, my further research reveals that Section 79(2) RTA is a compoundable offence under the Road Transport (Compounding of Offences) Rules 2003. Phew, that means I could just head to Jalan H.S. Lee’s police station to settle my ‘saman’.

While doing my research, I found that any person who, when driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle or when in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, has so much alcohol in his body that the proportion of it in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit, shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be punished with a fine of not less than one thousand ringgit and not more than six thousand ringgit and shall also be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months and, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, a fine of not less than two thousand ringgit and not more than ten thousand ringgit and shall also be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

So boys and girls, dont drink and drive 🙂

34 thoughts on “The Malaysian Road Transport Act”

  1. wow~ thanks… if a driver who is not legally wise on the law, one would definitely spend time in court instead of just paying the fine at a police station.

  2. bimbobum: not yet, planning to write an appeal letter to reduce fine 😛 which I havent got the time to do so hehe
    pikey: Hehe yea but I think many people never reached the stage of getting a ‘saman’ liddat. hehe

  3. hahaha dude , actually they [deleted by webmaster]..
    anyway , try 2 more careful next time , especially near by august 31 n malays new year….

  4. well xes… abt dun drink and drive… well… abt this law… wat if… the next day after i drink? if kana urine test i kana or not? lolz…
    wat i means ere… today drink alot…
    tml 12pm i kana stop and check… u get wat i mean?

  5. CL: appeal ar? appeal to how much? RM100 or RM70? actually now these days they don’t really reduce….just pay the fine and don’t fall in the same fault again….
    Oh ya mentioning about the “Don’t Drink and Drive”…. should be “1st Drink Then Drive” then you’ll be alright!

  6. insomnia: most of the alcohol would have gone out of your system edi after 24 hours but if u drank hell alot and your blood-alcohol level is still high, you know la what will happen.
    oh, and don’t eat any poppy seeds before going for a drug test, not even if it’s the next day.Mythbusters proved that it WILL effect the test results.

  7. AHLOKKOR: heh, thanks.
    Justin: justin, when you say things on the internet, you have to be very careful. your statement is considered defamatory and you could get into trouble for saying those things. i dont want to end up being forced to give your details to the authorities. hope you understand.
    insomnia: you’ll probably end up in the hospital if you drink too much until u have so much alcohol remaining on your body the next day to fail a breath test.
    Amos: i rememebr trying to appeal for speeding butthen they said tehy do no accept appeal letters for speeding :s
    eletronicfly: yup thats correct!

  8. hm…good research! hope you’ll get reduced fine.
    insomnia: what you meant is nobody notices you until next afternoon? well..this is how it works..It takes one hour for 1 unit of alcohol to be processed. So one pint could take two to two-and-a-half hours, so you do the calculations..heh but seriously dont take my word for it…better still dont drink and drive..take cab la..heh i think there is no general outline for alcohol consumption measurements/guideline published by malaysian authority?

  9. godsmack: hahaha msia are not so bad la, those drivers in ho chi minh city are WORST. you need eyes on the back of your head.
    pokai: thanks! there’s a prescribed limit of alcohol that you may take but the calculation is not in pint/mugs/glasses. but the general rule is that to limit yourself to one drink.

  10. wah…xes talking all lawyersy..stupid ppl like me dun understd..i only understd the last part…
    how come a good experience? neva go to magistrate b4 defending client meh?

  11. So this blog can cover 2 niches 🙂
    Bimbo can do relationships.
    XES can do “insights by a Malaysian lawyer”, oh, 3, and dance events.

  12. hmmm….great info…the police are really hardworking nowadays and they seem to be everywhere…including in front of my house on the way to Taipan…..
    Imagine i driving back from kedai runcit nearby then suddenly got phone call, i tot, aiya near home already…angkat only…then ma kena…damn tak berbaloi right?

  13. you don’t need to show up in court. I got a ‘saman’ for entering a ‘no entry’ lane. i missed the mentioned date and i paid the fine 2 months later.
    moreover, i made an appeal on the fine even though it is way overdue.
    Welcome to Malaysia!

  14. Applegal: its 7a & 7b Jalan Raja 😀
    abalonedevil: if you read it slowly.. maybe it will slowly sink into you. heh. no i mean defending myself as a defendant.
    MaL: nah rm500 is maximum. the fine is usually less than half of it.
    jas: umm what should i do to the police? it was his duty to issue a saman against me. i had committed a traffic offence. in fact, he should be praised for not ‘you-know-what’ to me.
    karheng: hehe the streets are not safe nowadays :s
    Amos: cis, I’ll try!
    cnigel: red light :s i thought it was turning green!
    zhong: heh, thats good! luckily no warrant of arrest was issued against you huh?

  15. I’ve got a good idea…..tho it’s a bit a waste of a time..why don’t you counter sue them?
    Press charges to them instead for having to make you appear before court. That its a waste of your time, which by having to appear for a TRIVIAL reason such as this, you are unable to proceed with your daily work which means a potential customer.
    Of course, it sounds far fetched…but is that possible at all?

  16. Amos : PJ whch 1?
    defiance: heh, dont need to go anymore!
    karheng: nah no possible, my case will get thrown out. and maybe a good scolding from the judge
    cnigel: kekek sometimes you can estimate that the light will turn green by looking at the other traffic light.
    endroo: sure no problem.

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