Rehabilitation process for errant driversPOSTED BY Amirul Hazmi ON 30 March 2016
UNDER the improved Kejara system, drivers who obtain more than 15 demerit points or commit repeated traffic offences will soon have to undergo a rehabilitation process.
The rehabilitation process will be in the form of an educational approach instead of punishment, where drivers will be retrained to improve their techniques behind the wheel.
According to Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) Ahmed Ismail Amin, the suspension period imposed on errant drivers and re-implementation of the refresher program would be more fair to all drivers regardless of their income level.
“Compared with imposing fines, only lower income earners would be affected while it does not bother much to the higher income earners. We at AAM want all the drivers to see how serious it is if they disobey traffic rules,” Ismail said, echoing the same sentiment of the Ministry of Transport.
According to Mat Aris Bakar, the president of Malaysian Driving Institute Association, the rehabilitation process is not new, as the existing process is already established under the refresher programme, but has been stopped for a few years now.
“I strongly agree if the Ministry of Transport wants to re-implement the programme for errant drivers, especially those involved in traffic offences that cause injuries or fatalities,” he told Cars, Bikes & Trucks.
“However, I would urge the ministry and enforcement authority not to allow errant drivers to deduct their demerit points through fines, but have their driving licence suspended or attending the refresher programme. Drivers should have a mentality where they obey traffic laws not because of avoiding to pay fines, but to avoid their driving licence be suspended.”
The two-day refresher programme would costs RM350 and is helpful for drivers regardless of their age and driving experience as the lessons learned in driving school to pass the test are very basic.
Mat Aris said that the RTD-approved syllabus for the refresher programme – speed and stopping distance, cornering technique, skid control and ability to identify types of skid – as crucial in helping drivers to anticipate their driving and road conditions to detect accident possibilities and evading dangerous situations.
The Malaysian Driving Institute Association may work with advanced driving providers to adapt suitable lessons into the basic driving course and the refresher programme.
In developed countries such as Germany, driving on the highway and driving in the dark are included in the driving test and in Finland, drivers need to pass the skid-pan session to obtain their licence.
In Japan and Britain, before taking the practical driving test, drivers are required to do basic vehicle safety checking such as tyre pressure, tyre tread depth and even bending down to check underneath the car before driving.
The improvement of Kejara system is part of Road Transport Department (RTD) and Ministry of Transport’s initiative to implement a better system to road drivers and making road a better place for everyone.
By: Amirul Hazmi