A Motorist Was Allegedly Fined For "Spending Too Much Time" At A Kedah R&R
A Malaysian has claimed that he was fined by highway operator PLUS when he travelled to Kedah recently
One Damar Wulan on Facebook took to social media to express his dissatisfaction, when he realised that he was penalised when he exited the Plaza Tol Pendang, Kedah.
He claimed that he was fined RM9.40 for spending more than 1.5 hours at a Rest and Service Area, or better known as R&R, in Gurun, Kedah. He said that he was tired after dropping off a friend and went to the R&R in Gurun to have a short nap before he continued his journey.
When he asked why he was charged RM9.40, the PLUS toll booth attendant explained that this was because the highway operator suspects that users who stay too long at R&R may be committing acts with elements of fraud.
Following the incident, Damar Wulan had contacted PLUS to get more information on the matter
He said that he had called the PLUS hotline number to get more clarification on his case but the officer in charged failed to offer a satisfactory answer.
He went on to question why there isn't any signage at R&Rs that informs motorists that they should avoid staying at the Rest & Service area for a long period of time.
There were instances in the past when highway users were fined for "overstaying" at highways
In a separate post, Damar Wulan highlighted a particular news report in 2005 which stated that PLUS had fined motorists for using its highways for a long period or unreasonable amount of time.
In 2005, PLUS made headlines for imposing a penalty on motorists who overstayed because the highway operator wanted to address the issue of toll fraud syndicates where errant motorists tried to beat the system by exchanging toll tickets or "lose their tickets" in order to pay lower charges.
The road users had cheated so that they will only pay a very small fraction (a fine) of what they should rightfully pay.
Although PLUS' actions are against the current laws at that time, the local media reported that the then Minister of Works Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said that the cabinet would amend laws to empower PLUS to impose the penalty.
A few netizens have also tried to offer a possible explanation on the extra RM9.40 charge that was imposed on Damar Wulan
Some have pointed out that the RM9.40 could be a result of a technical issue whereby the system fails to recognise where the motorist came from and assumes that the motorist has come from the furthest toll plaza.
They added that Damar Wulan could file an official complaint and obtain a refund if he was really wrongly charged.
A 2010 report by TheSun reveals that there are a few possibilities on why certain motorists can be "overcharged" and that includes incorrect usage of SmartTAG, a weak SmartTAG battery, or a system error where the reader fails to detect the card at the entry of the toll plaza thus assuming that the motorist has come from the furthest toll plaza.
Do you think highway operators should be allowed to impose time-limit fines on motorists? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
In recent times, motorists have voiced out their dissatisfactions when they are being wrongly charged when passing through a toll: