A Facebook post by a woman detailing the hassle she has to go through to settle a fine for using her phone while driving has gone viral
In the post published on Tuesday, 29 September, the woman, Mellonie Chin, claimed she was fined RM1,000 for picking up a short phone call to say "ok ok" to her client.
According to her, she knew using her phone while driving is illegal, but due to the constant ringing over three missed calls, she decided to pick it up at a traffic light in Penang.
Five minutes later, she was stopped at a roadblock and fined RM1,000 for the offence.
She was told by a police officer to pay the fine at a court.
Saddened by the hefty fine, she eventually learned that being fined was not the only lesson she had to go through.
Paying it was another.
She said it was the first time in her life that she was fined RM1,000 and needed to go to the court for it.
"My husband also said the normal procedure is to go to a counter to pay the summons and that he never heard the need to go to mahkamah (the court)," wrote Chin.
"So today (28 September) I went to the nearest police station to ask about the way to pay the fine."
When the woman arrived at the police station, she was told by an officer that she does not need to go to the court to pay for the fine, citing that it is only necessary if the offender wants to appeal against the fine.
She was referred to a traffic police station instead where the officer promised that the fine can be resolved there.
Little did she know that complication awaited her at the traffic police station as well
At the traffic police station, she was told by an officer guarding the station that her summons could not be settled there.
"You can't pay the summons here. You have to pay it at the white building ahead," she quoted the police officer as saying.
Frustrated, she went to the third building that day in the hope to pay the fine once and for all.
"I went to the counter (in the building) and saw people holding summons ready to pay at the counters," she wrote.
"This time it is right! I pressed the number and waited to say bye bye to my RM1,000 cheque."
When it was her turn, she was let down again.
The personnel at the counter said, "Your case is special. You can't pay it at the cashier. You need to go to court for it."
By the end of the day, Chin complained that it had wasted her entire morning and that she was back to square one despite all the trouble.
The next day, her husband took her to the Magistrate's Court at George Town
Chin went up to a security guard and was told that the court was not open until 8.30am.
After some waiting, she was called at a counter and learned that she was not supposed to come to the court on that day.
"Why did you come so early," said a personnel at the building, adding, "It's useless to come so early. Your court is not ready."
"You can come to court late, but never early."
Disappointed, she went home not achieving anything again.
In retrospect, Chin said the reason she wrote the post was to share her experience of paying the fine of a non-compoundable offence as not a lot of people have experienced it
In a photo she uploaded, the summons stated a date of when she needs to go to court to pay for the fine.
"My purpose for writing this karangan (essay) is very simple," she said.
"Maybe some people don't know how to deal with this kind of special case. I wrote it just to reduce the wrong trips people may be making."
Using a phone while driving has been a non-compoundable offence since 6 July, but police noticed that many Malaysians seem to be unaware about it and still break the rule: