Monday, April 13, 2009

Don't pick and choose who to punish

KUDOS to the Petaling Jaya City Council for declaring its seriousness in tackling haphazard and illegal parking in the city.

The council has said that cars parked indiscriminately in the "hot spots" in Sections 5, 8 and 52 will be towed away.

Hopefully, this move will discipline the most hardcore of errant motorists when they find themselves poorer by RM300 -- which they will have to pay to reclaim their vehicles -- not to mention the storage fees for each day that their cars are left in the council's yard.

If the move by the council is successful, law-abiding motorists will not only find relief in a smoother traffic flow but they will also be able to go about their businesses with peace of mind as they know that they will not return to find their cars blocked by another vehicle.

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall has been doing the same thing.

City Hall tow trucks make their rounds in Jalan Raja Laut, Chow Kit, Pudu, Imbi, and other problem areas, striking fear into the hearts of errant motorists.

It helps to deter motorists from leaving their cars where they like while grabbing a drink at the mamak stall or picking their children up from tuition centres.

The reason why people park as though they own the road is because enforcement has been lacking.

If there had been strict enforcement from the start, discipline would have been instilled by now.

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall has so far been quite diligent as seen in Bangsar and several other hot spots.

City Hall traffic wardens have promptly attended to vehicles that were indiscriminately parked as well as those legally parked but with expired parking tickets.

If the authorities keep up the enforcement, a culture of discipline among motorists will be established. Traffic congestion from illegal parking will be a thing of the past.

However, in dealing with illegal parking, local authorities must also look at the root of the problem.

The curse of a bustling business area is often the lack of parking space.

Often, one finds parking bays occupied by either inconsiderate restaurant operators who place their tables and chairs for alfresco dining or by workshop operators reserving not only one but several parking bays in front of their shops for their clients, all duly marked with their own "No Parking" signs.

If no action is taken against these inconsiderate business operators, the authorities will be seen as practising double standards.

After all, if they penalise those who park illegally, shouldn't they also take action against those who illegally hog parking spaces?

The authorities risk putting their image at stake if the law is not seen to be applied justly to all.

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