SINGAPORE, July 10 — A recent proposal via Nominated Member of Parliament Dr. Walter Theseira to peg visitors’ fines to the open market value of an offending motorist’s vehicle has sparked an energetic debate among transport analysts and motorists. What is the consensus from TODAY’s sampling of opinion? Most people agree that such a device might amount to discrimination towards the higher-off. Dr. Theseira made the thought in Parliament on Monday to improve the first-class penalty machine — by having motorists who own luxury cars pay large fines for the identical offense compared to folks that powerless expensive motors. He stated that pegging a first-rate to the car’s cost is a greater practical technique than pegging it to earnings tiers. “I suppose it’s miles reasonable to expect that the driver of a huge luxury car can pay more than one driving an inexpensive vehicle and would, in all likelihood, regard the demerit points and other outcomes of an offense as some distance extra serious than the value of the high-quality itself,” he stated.
“Insofar as many luxury cars are advertised as safer than much less properly-ready cars, there’s even greater reason to grow the most excellent quality as a deterrent, since the perceived risk of damage to the driving force themselves will be decreased and they will be more willing to hurry.” Dr. Theseira stated that his notion was a bid to make fines greater “meaningful” as a deterrent for motorists of higher profits ranges, at the same time as being truthful and affordable for decrease-profits motorists on the identical time. “Motorists differ significantly in their earnings and wealth. However, fines are normally exact, while specific motorists dedicate equal offense, which creates a problem. A nice this is massive enough to be significant and appropriate to punish the average motorist can be too large for decrease-profits motorists and too small for the richest motorists.
“Fines don’t make paintings if they may be so huge that people can’t pay, and fines additionally don’t paintings if they’re not meaningful deterrents.” He quoted a take look posted in the Journal of Law and Economics in 2004, using site visitor statistics from numerous countries with the US and Israel. He discovered that drivers with newer vehicles had been much more likely to run red lights and had been less conscious of nice increases. He stated that the findings guide the theory that fines deter dangerous driving, and “moreover, the deterrent impact of the excellent relies upon the earnings or wealth of the culprit.”
“Richer offenders truely feel the pinch of a high-quality much less,” he introduced. ‘Laws have to discriminate now not’ However, professionals and motorists approached via TODAY, by and large, disagreed on the deserves of one of these penalty systems, with most stating that it might be discriminatory. Some also said that if one of these devices had been allowed, it could set a dangerous precedent for different legal guidelines and penalties. Transport consultant Gopinath Menon stated that at the same time, the goal is to make the drivers “feel the pinch,” and “it is not very fair” to have exceptional consequences for the same offense. “If you dedicate an offense, you must be charged the same penalty, regardless of who you’re. Why should anybody be discriminated against?” Menon argued that riding a luxurious automobile does not imply that the perpetrator has a high income or enough money to pay a larger fine. Dr. Lee Der-Horng, a transport researcher from the National University of Singapore (NUS), agreed that “no person should be discriminated against within the eyes of the law.”
He also stated that fines were “overused” as an option for traffic-associated issues and accidents. Understanding the “crux and nature” of visitors’ injuries is more essential, he brought. He pointed out that visitors’ injuries are related to a motive force’s behavior and many other factors, including road situations. “The aggressiveness and experience of a driver are elements (in) site visitors’ accidents and offenses. Sometimes, the incidence of visitors’ injuries and offenses (is also) because of the street layout, congestion, visibility, sight distance, and climate. “Fines do not effortlessly solve traffic injuries or visitor issues.” One driver, Edward Tay, stated that tying fines to earnings or a car’s open marketplace price “imposes an unequal penalty for the equal offense.” The 53-year-old attorney said: “The social fee from a reckless billionaire and that from a reckless vocational driver is the same. As such, the penalty for the offense should be equal.”
Tay believes the maximum “powerful” penalty could be sanctioned on the offending driving force’s license. “Even a billionaire who loses his license will no longer be capable of forcing his Lambo (Lamborghini), and I suspect there can be little pleasure in hiring a chauffeur to accomplish that,” he stated. In his view, TODAY reader Francis Cheng wrote in an email: “It is common to discover high-priced vehicles in (public housing) estates. However, the owners are not always wealthy. Some, even though not all, are asset-rich, however, coins-poor. “While I accept as true with the idea of fairer penalties, the truth is that this may simply value all people extra money because (the culprit) may additionally venture the penalty in court under judicial review due to discrimination.” Cheng additionally felt that traffic summons “must not be proportion to wealth due to the fact fines are not a tax.” “If a judge feels that a defendant would no longer be deterred by using a low satisfactory, they can have the discretion to boom the high-quality and demerit points.”
He introduced that if pegging visitors’ fines to motors’ fees are permitted, it could set a risky precedent. “If we introduce fines based totally on the sort of motors, why wouldn’t we use it on any fines or punishments?” When contacted using TODAY, Dr. Theseira acknowledged that one problem is enforcing “sliding scale” fines. Citing the example of a Finnish businessman who became fined € fifty-four 024 (RM250,751) for riding at 64 miles per hour (103km/h) in a 50 miles per hour (80km/h) sector, Dr. Theseira stated that the Finn finally “got the penalty decreased on the attraction.” Elaborating on this, he said that “the general public, if they were convicted of against the law, could want the proper to explain for to the choose why their sentence ought to be more lenient or why the occasions are mitigating.” This way, pegging fines to the capability to pay isn’t any distinctive. “You can’t argue that the justice machine needs to recollect non-public circumstances for leniency and now not the opposite manner as properly,” he said.
Countries with traffic fines primarily based on earnings In Finland, dashing fines are linked to a culprit’s profits. Penalties are calculated according to a culprit’s day-by-day disposable income. A deduction can also be granted to reflect day-by-day dwelling fees. Additional amounts will also be deducted for every dependant, including a non-running spouse or baby. Switzerland fines visitors offenders are consistent with taxable profits and wealth. In 2009, a court docket sentenced six guys from Hong Kong to fines of as much as ninety-five,000 Swiss francs after they had been caught racing thru Switzerland in hired Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, and Audis at speeds of up to 142 miles an hour (228km/h). In a separate case, a Frenchman was fined 70,000 Swiss francs after being stuck on a dual carriageway touring at 151 miles an hour (243km/h). — TODAY