Road rules may see big changes

PETALING JAYA: More youths will soon be able to work as delivery riders (p-hailing) as the minimum age for such riders will be lowered from 21 to 18.

This will be achieved through the amendments to the Road Transport Act to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat meeting in July, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

He said the lowering of the age limit to hold a Vocational Licence to operate a motorcycle as a goods vehicle would be changed.

“This is to allow more people the option to earn extra income via the p-hailing (penghantar in Bahasa Malaysia) business and other platforms to deliver goods,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Such a step was among the four proposed changes to the Act to make it more people- friendly, said Dr Wee, adding that the Cabinet had approved the ministry’s proposals to amend the Act.

“The ministry has always sought ways to make the law more people-centric and put safety as a top priority without unduly burdening road users,” Dr Wee added.

Another amendment to the Act will protect the interests of car owners when they sell their vehicles to used car dealers.

Under the change, such dealers will be allowed to commence temporary ownership of the vehicle while looking for buyers.

“At the same time, this move will ensure that the rights of the consumer will be protected,” he said.

Currently, the existing procedures under the Act only allow for a permanent transfer of ownership of vehicles.

“However, an administrative measure was made in 2011 to allow vehicle owners to sell and transfer ownership of their vehicles to used car dealers temporarily.

“The ownership will only be permanently transferred to the dealer after a specified time if the vehicle is not sold to a new buyer by the dealer,” said Dr Wee.

Through the proposed amendment, the interim Vehicle Ownership Transfer (Temporary) from the original owner to the dealer will be legalised.

Another impending change is a new provision to allow the Road Transport Department (JPJ) to use the High-Speed Weigh-In-Motion (HS-WIM) system.

WIM is the process of measuring the dynamic tyre force of a moving vehicle to estimate the gross vehicle weight and the distribution of that weight across each wheel, axle or axle group.

HS-WIM allows the weight of a cargo vehicle to be estimated without the need for the vehicle to come to a complete stop; it is in fact allowed to maintain its prescribed speed limit (currently capped at 90 kph).

“This combination of sensors, cameras and computer algorithms can ascertain the presence, identity and most importantly the prescribed weight of vehicles while in motion.

“HS-WIM allows for a more efficient and accurate way of recording vehicles’ weight and for enforcement activities to be done automatically without the presence of JPJ officers at the location,” said Dr Wee.

The system will ensure higher compliance of the relevant rules by all vehicle owners, especially those that transport goods, and will ultimately lead to safer roads for all users.

“The ministry is continuously seeking the best approaches to ensure public safety on the road and one of the best ways is through integration of technology into enforcement.

“Such a step can also prevent corruption and ensure continuous monitoring for compliance,” he said.

The fourth proposed amendment will make it mandatory for tour bus drivers to have a valid Vocational Licence, in keeping with the requirement for other types of bus drivers.

This requirement for such a licence is already imposed on drivers of express buses, stage buses and school buses.

“This move will ensure that all drivers are girded with current knowledge and competencies to provide safe and responsible services to their passengers,” Dr Wee said.

He added that the ministry was constantly working to improve public policies to make the roads safer for the benefit of both pedestrians and motorists.

“We will continue to listen to feedback from all stakeholders to better improve policies for the future,” he said.