KUALA LUMPUR: The Transport Ministry has admitted there are weaknesses in the demerit points penalty system that allows drivers to escape amassing “negative points” if they do not settle their summonses.
Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said the demerit points system, or Kejara, was currently the weakest link in terms of enforcement.
“We are looking into it seriously and efforts will be made to improve the system so that it is more efficient,” he said yesterday, in reference to why the bus driver involved in the Taiping bus accident was still allowed on the road even though he had 13 outstanding summonses.
According to the Road Transport Department (JPJ) website, drivers who commit traffic offences will be slapped with demerit points based on the severity of the offence.
Non-learner drivers, or those with competent driving licences, who collect more than 15 demerit points will have their licences suspended for six months.
Those who have more than 15 points a second time will have their licences suspended for a year and if repeated for a third time within five years, the driver will have his licence cancelled. If the driver does not commit an offence within two years, seven points will be taken off the total demerit points.
However, current implementation allows drivers to avoid collecting demerit points altogether if they do not settle their summonses. Drivers who refuse to hand in their licences after it has been suspended or cancelled also escape punishment.
Chan said he would brief the Cabinet today on the accident and would also recommend safety measures related to express buses.
Recommendations are expected to include the total fleet management of bus companies, implementing self-regulation measures by working with the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, and commercial vehicle drivers being required to attend training every few years.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan called for the re-enforcing of the demerit system to blacklist negligent drivers.
“If the system is managed properly, we will be able to instil fear and prevent such drivers from being a menace (to other road-users).
“We are ever willing to cooperate with other authorities in enforcing the demerit system,” he told reporters after presenting a working paper at the 2007 National Assets and Facilities Management Convention here.
The IGP has also asked his traffic officers for an explanation why no action had been taken against the bus driver who has two warrant of arrests.
“We want to know how he managed to renew his licence despite having all the summonses,” he said.
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