PUTRAJAYA: Twenty-three road offences will be included in the Automated Awareness Safety System (AWAS), to be fully enforced beginning April 15.
Under the system, road offenders will be slapped with demerit points with every offence committed and ultimately face having their licences suspended or cancelled.
Road Transport Department director-general Datuk Nadzri Siron said among the 23 new offences to be included in AWAS are using handphones while driving, failure to fasten safety belts, failure to stop at police checkpoints and overloading of commercial vehicles.
"These offences have already been agreed upon and gazetted. They will be implemented in phases by the end of the year," he told reporters at a special briefing for the media today.
As a start, only two offences will be focused on under the system – speeding caught only on the AES (Automated Enforcement System) and running red lights.
The Awas system, which integrates both the AES and Kejara demerit points system, went into effect on April 1 with the aim of catching habitual traffic offenders in the act, he added.
"A total of 4,949 road offenders have been issued with summonses for beating red traffic lights and speeding since April 1 until today.
"These offenders will be fined as usual – however, they will not incur any demerit points," he said.
Nadzri added that for competent driving licence (CDL) holders, the first 20 demerit points will be given as a warning; but for the second offence, another 20 points will be given, which means the offender will face suspension of their licence for a period of six to eight months.
"For the third and fourth offence, the offender will be awarded 20 points each, and their licences will be suspended for a period of eight to 10 months, and 10 to 12 months, respectively.
"For the fifth 20 points, their licence will be cancelled.
"Drivers who are suspended three times in a period of five years will also have their licences cancelled," he added.
Nazri said those with provisional driving licences will have their licences automatically cancelled when they earn the first 20 points.
After receiving suspension letters from the RTD, drivers are required to return their physical licences to the department within 21 days.
"During the period of suspension, drivers are not allowed to drive, and if found to have driven any vehicle, could be fined up to a minimum of RM3,000 and a maximum of RM10,000.
"They could also face jail time of not more than three years," he added.
Those who have their licences cancelled must undergo the process of obtaining a licence again, Nazri said.
The department will also offer a rehabilitation course for offenders with demerit points, he added.
"Upon completing the course, the demerit points will be slashed by 50.
"This incentive will only be given once ," he said.
Nazri said he hopes the initiative will educate road users to obey traffic rules and regulations.