TUMPAT: The government will soon announce a new mechanism to blacklist motorists who fail to pay fines for traffic offences.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said the mechanism would be introduced once the cabinet gave its approval.
Under the current system, the Road Transport Department would bar motorists from renewing their driving licences and vehicle road tax only if they failed to settle their traffic compounds and attend court hearings or investigations.
"Those affected by this rule are motorists who have been issued with summonses by the RTD, police, the Land Public Transport Commission and Kuala Lumpur City Hall.
"RTD is the lead agency as it has the database of vehicle records and driving licence holders," he said after launching the district-level 1RTD, 1Community programme at SK Neting here yesterday.
He said under the Road Transport Act, the department had the authority to blacklist and prevent traffic offenders from renewing their driving licence and road tax.
Earlier in his speech, he said the country suffered losses amounting to RM9 billion annually in social costs through road accidents nationwide.
The costs included medical treatment, rehabilitation programmes, vehicle repairs, insurance claims and loss of income.
"A total of 6,800 deaths were reported from road accidents last year, of which 4,000 involved motorcyclists or their pillion riders."
Later, it was a proud moment for Abdullah Che Ibrahim, 82, when he received his driving licence from Rahim.
Abdullah, an odd-job worker from Kampung Tujuh Pasir here, said he had been riding a motorcycle without a licence since 1979 as he had difficulties following procedures to get the licence.
He said he decided to join a programme by RTD for senior citizens to obtain a licence at his village.
"We paid only RM150 for the programme which offered riding classes and lessons on traffic rules once a week for two months," said Abdullah, who is a father of nine.
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