Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Govt proposes mechanism to limit bus speed

UALA TERENGGANU: The government has proposed introducing a mechanism to limit the speed of express and stage buses at 90km per hour in a move to ensure passenger safety.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the suggestion would be brought to the Cabinet for discussion due to the dangerous manner the public transport vehicle was being driven these days.

He said this regulation had been implemented in several developed countries such as Germany and Japan, and he hoped that this would help prevent road fatalities involving bus passengers in the future.

"I don't think there is a need to put up signboards or anything. Express buses are sometimes driven fast in this country, especially now with the existence of doubledecker buses that can put other motorists' lives in danger.

"We must fix the speed limit at 90km per hour...or at whatever suitable speed limit," he said after handing over approval letters to 73 rental car drivers from throughout Terengganu, here, Tuesday.

Also present was Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) chairman, Datuk Markiman Kobiran.

Nazri said that previously, various measures were implemented to get express bus drivers to adhere to the speed limit such as making compulsory the installation of the black boxes and using the Global Positioning System (GPs), but to no avail.

He said the government also suggested establishing a public transport driving school to train future drivers of buses and other public transport vehicles, as well as forming the National Public Tranport Commission.

Nazri said the proposed driving school would be a long term solution, where the participants would undergo a basic course for three to four months before being given a permit to drive a public transport vehicle.

"The school will also record and keep all data and information regarding the drivers, and the records updated to ensure that drivers with offences are not hired by any public transport company," he said.

In another development, Nazri said he had sent the memorandum to all the ministries on the proposed fare increase for all public transport, and was waiting for feedback before the matter could be brought to the Cabinet. - Bernama

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