Monday, July 6, 2009

Bus companies to be held accountable for hiring bad drivers

PUTRAJAYA: Public transport companies will be held accountable for hiring drivers with a bad record in a move to stem accidents involving public transport due to “human error.”

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the number of accidents involving public transport was worrying and “something drastic and effective needs to be done to at least minimise this.”

“The first thing to do is to compile a list of drivers employed by transport companies and from there, we will check official records for those who have been involved in accidents, been fined numerous times and for other road offences.

“Once the list is ready public transport companies will be advised accordingly.

“We realise the demand for drivers are high and that is why companies are willing to employ even those who have a bad record.

“But employing such drivers will not help. In fact, it can make matters worse as this allows irresponsible drivers to continue to be on the road.

“With the Hari Raya Aidilfitri coming, all eyes will be on public transportation and I shiver with concern everytime I think of the situation because people need to be assured that not only are the vehicles safe, but the drivers are a responsible lot too,” he told reporters after launching the Scania-Plusliner X-treme double decker bus Monday.

Nazri said companies which employ “bad drivers” would be penalised, which would include losing their permits.

He said laws would also be amended so that companies whose drivers got involved in accidents and committed serious traffic offences would be held responsible.

“We need to show to the public that we are serious in protecting their safety on the road. I will ask the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) to come up with the list soon so that what we have planned for can take effect as soon as possible,” he said.

“As a long term measure, we are looking at the possibility of introducing a driving school for those who wishing to make driving public vehicles their career. Present drivers will also have to undergo refresher courses yearly,” he said.

On another matter, Nazri said he would announce the new ceiling price for public transport on July 16 but declined to elaborate.

“Just wait for the announcement,” he said.

Nazri had earlier said the hike would be “most minimal,” over and above the 30% surcharge which the Government had allowed express bus operators to impose during last year’s Hari Raya.

The surcharge was initially approved by the Government during the one-month Hari Raya period, but express bus operators were allowed to continue charging the increased fare indefinitely after an appeal.


fireheart said...

Hi, I was just wondering how the petition is going. I've signed it the first time I saw it which was about a year ago. So has it been sent to the PM? Or is there going to be a new copy sent to the new PM?

Just thoughts when I think about Nian Ning.

fireheart said...

Thanks for getting back to me. It's really sad that those in the high-up-there-positions have forgotten about their promises. Don't worry though - I know I haven't. I believe with the continuous support (and continuous racket made) by this group, we'll get somewhere better than just a one month ban.

Let me know if there's anything I can help or say or doing any spread-the-word kind of thing. I'll stick around =)