Why not make dashcams mandatory for a better tomorrow? – Ka Siong

12 Jan 2024 07:45am
Wee Ka Siong. FILE PIX
Wee Ka Siong. FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Former Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong has raised the question of why not making dashcams mandatory and highlighted the potential benefits of their installation in vehicles.

Wee emphasised the advantages of dashcams in retrieving crucial information and serving as evidence, particularly in accident cases.

"With dashcams, we can retrieve information and serve as proof.

“In the event of accidents, we can determine the cause, such as speeding, which could be crucial in understanding and preventing future incidents.

“Dashcams not only record every detail of the vehicles involved but also act as a surveillance tool, providing insights that aid investigations," he told Sinar Daily recently.

Wee, who is also the MCA President, expressed his belief in the positive impact of Information Technology (IT) on enhancing road safety.

"The use of IT is always good. If dashcams become compulsory, the long-term benefits for users are significant.

“It will foster discipline among drivers, knowing they are under constant observation," he added.

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Drawing parallels with technology in law enforcement in various countries, Wee highlighted the efficiency of police in some countries where technology plays a crucial role.

"Dashcams can contribute to compiling data that helps solve problems, including reducing crime rates," he said.

Addressing concerns about potential high costs and privacy issues raised by human rights activists, Wee emphasised the greater good.

"While the cost might be high, the long-term benefits outweigh the initial investment.

“Dashcams are not just about infringing on privacy, they are about recording the movements of vehicles and ensuring public safety," he said.

Wee further drew comparisons with widely used CCTV systems in many countries, stating, "Like CCTV, dashcams can be used as evidence and aid investigations. Many countries have embraced the smart city concept, deploying thousands of cameras for security purposes," he added.

Acknowledging the current prevalence of dashcams in vehicles, either as built-in features or aftermarket accessories, Wee suggested that Malaysia could consider implementing dashcams more broadly if deemed beneficial.

Sinar Daily previously reported that dashcams are no longer a convenience but a necessity especially when it comes to aiding the police with footage related to investigations.

Last month, police analysed dashcam footages from cars parked near Idaman Apartment inn Damansara Damai, where six-year-old Zayn Rayyan Abdul Matiin’s body was found to collect lead in the murder investigation.

In another well-known case, a former Information Technology employee was found guilty by the High Court here on a charge of causing the death of Syed Muhammad Danial Syed Shakir in a road rage incident on the North-South Highway (PLUS) four years ago.

In this case, dashcam footage was crucial in providing justice for Syed Muhammad Danial, who was murdered by Yew Wei Liang in the road rage case.

When speaking to Sinar Daily, Bukit Aman Traffic Enforcement and Investigation Department supported the use of dashcams in motor vehicles, citing its vital role in crash probes and court proceedings.

Making dashcams compulsory, however, was acknowledged as a potential challenge.

Last year, the police, under then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, sought public feedback on dashcams.

Acryl had said that usage of dashcams in private vehicles would assist investigations into road crashes as well as public complaints on traffic safety and violations.

It was reported that a total of 598,635 road accidents were reported nationwide from Jan 1 to Dec 30 last year, based on police's data on Jan 1.

There has also been a spike in road deaths – from 6,080 in 2022, the number rose to 6,433 last year.

With the rise in road accidents, several measures would be introduced by the Transport Ministry to strengthen road safety which include Cabinet committee that would meet three times a year to address road safety and traffic congestion issues in the country.