KUALA LUMPUR: The Road Transport Department has deployed plainclothes officers across the country to keep tabs on bus drivers.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said some of the 3,000 officers were posing as passengers to observe the behaviour of bus drivers.
"The officers will note if the drivers breach any safety protocols, like overtaking illegally, using their mobile phones while driving or speeding."
He said the officers had already issued some notices to bus drivers who were caught driving recklessly.
"These are some of the efforts taken by the authorities in beefing up enforcement to ensure the public's safety."
It was reported yesterday that about 50 per cent of school, tour and express buses which were required to go for checks at Puspakom last year, did not do so.
According to Puspakom, 725 stage buses, 579 express buses, 1,284 school buses, 596 tour buses, 670 factory buses and 250 buses of other categories did not show up for their biannual inspection last year.
"It is the operator's responsibility to ensure that the safety features in their buses are functioning, and certified by Puspakom before they continue to operate," he told the New Straits Times in a telephone interview.
He said action would be taken against bus operators who continued to ignore the scheduled inspections which would determine a vehicle's roadworthiness.
"If bus operators fail to send their vehicles in for inspection for more than a year, we will have their licences suspended or canceled."
However, Kong said this issue was not necessarily linked to the recent accidents on Malaysian roads involving busses.
"Investigations are still going on for most of the cases.
"We cannot say for sure that they crashed because the buses were not road-worthy.
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