Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chan: Refresher courses a must

The Star Online - 14 August 2007

TAIPING: Commercial vehicle drivers must attend mandatory refresher courses annually, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said.

“I want this to be implemented immediately,” he told reporters after visiting survivors of the Super Express bus crash at the hospital here.

Chan said he had informed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi about the crash earlier in the morning.

“The Prime Minister wants steps to be taken to improve our road safety.”

He said the mandatory refresher course had been discussed previously by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (Miros) and other authorities.

“This is of public interest. No more lives should be lost. I want this to be resolved as soon as possible,” he said.

Chan also said that there was a possibility that the crash, which he described as “one of the worst accidents in our nation’s history,” was due to negligence.

The refresher course is to hone the driving skills of commercial vehicle drivers.

When first proposed in 2004, the course was aimed at being a stringent and comprehensive training programme for commercial drivers.

The drivers were to undergo the training every two years. Those who did not attend the course would have their licences revoked.

The Transport Minister also said that Miros would investigate the incident with the assistance of the police, Road Transport Department and other relevant agencies.

He said public transport operators need to abide by road safety rules, which among others, stipulate that a co-driver must replace a driver after four hours of driving.

Chan said the bus was registered in 1987 and was inspected by Puspakom in May. The next inspection was scheduled for November.

On whether there were any plans to ban express buses from operating after midnight, Chan said the matter would also be studied based on the experiences of other countries.

Miros director-general Prof Radin Umar Radin Sohadi said that the investigation would focus on ensuring that results could be put to use so that such accidents did not reoccur.

“We will find out how the company's drivers were selected and trained, and how the buses were maintained.”

1 comment:

usha suren said...

all bus companies must maintain alog bog and the no of hrs a driver is allowed per week should be determined by the road transport dept.this way the drivers will get adequate rest they will not suffer from sleep deprivation however the drivers must get paid when they are off duty currently they get paid acc to the no. of trips they make which is absurd and unsafe