In a traffic court case held in Ipoh, Perak, Mohd Kamil Rashid, the express bus driver of a double-decker bus belonging to Sani Express was handed a 4 year prison sentence. Kamil’s driving license was also suspended for a period of 3 years. A RM10,000 fine that was also imposed by Magistrate Mohamad Ruhizat Abdullah, sealed the driver’s fate.
Readers, I am sure will surely remember the incident whereby 10 passengers of the Sani Express, lost their lives, as it crashed along a highway back in 2009. Under the Road Transport Act 1987, Mohd Kamil Rashid, the bus driver was charged via Section 41(1) with reckless driving and causing the deaths of 10 passengers at KM272.7 of the North – South expressway on 26th December 2009.
When the accident was first reported and appeared in the newspapers in 2009, the public then in fact did not have a clear picture of what had happened that fateful night. Three years have since elapsed the night, the fateful incident occurred. The traffic court case held recently at Ipoh, Perak, has given us a clearer picture of how the incident actually occurred.
What really happened on the night of 26th December, 2009? How did the accident occur, readers would like to inquire.
A study about the circumstances revolving around the incident is important. It will go a long way to assist the relevant authorities, as well as the company or companies involved, to learn from it and prevent similar incidents from happening in the forthcoming future.
The reasons why the accident occurred that night are many as has been revealed in the court case. One was that a double-decker bus should not have been travelling so fast. It was in fact, speeding so to say. Bus drivers of future double-decker buses should keep in view this important fact.
Sources say, the driver was going at more than 90km/h. The courts reiterated that even though the double-decker bus exceeded the speed limit permitted by only 1km/h, it was nevertheless a speed that was in fact dangerous.
Secondly, the bus was said to be swaying from left to right prior to the accident taking place. This proves that the driver of the double-decker bus was unable to control it properly. Excessive speed was most likely to be the contributing factor for this happening. Although the bus driver told the court hearing that he had only exceeded the speed limit of 90km/h, the fact remains that a speed of 90km/h for a double-decker bus to travel, especially at night, would be considered as being fast and dangerous.
With so many passengers inside, the authorities should now consider carefully what the optimum speed of a double-decker bus should be. It in reality endangered the lives of the passengers inside which eventually lead them to their deaths.
Thirdly, according to the driver, Mohd Kamil Rashid, he told the courts that prior to the accident happening, a car from the opposite direction, with its headlights flashing, directly into his eyes, had caused the driver’s vision to be blurred for a few seconds. This caused the accident to take place.
Talking about the problem of blinding, white lights which many vehicles are said to be using these days, this issue of Xenon lights, which is in fact illegal, should be addressed by the authorities, that is the J.P.J. or the police immediately.
I earnestly suggests that the use of the above lights should be looked into seriously. If nothing concrete is done, more accidents will without a doubt take place in the near future, thus endangering the lives of the motoring public.
This article has decided to highlight the reasons why the double-decker bus which belonged to Sani Express crashed on the night of 26th December 2009. Hopefully, by studying all the reasons in greater detail, it would contribute towards preventing such horrific accidents taking place. And as a result, more lives would be spared.
To sum up this short article, three or four major reasons appear to be responsible for the double-decker bus crash. They are:-
a) Excessive speeding.
b) Ferrying excessive number of passengers in the bus itself.
c) Illegal use of certain head lights such as xenon lights by other motorists.
d) The overall construction of the double-decker buses currently used, which appears to be rather flimsy, thus not capable of providing protection to passengers.
If you are a driver and you have been blacklisted by the authorities, for example the Road Transport Department, then you cannot pay your road tax. Or you could even be prevented from renewing your driving license. You cannot even transfer a vehicle which is in your name. In short, a driver will find it next to impossible to drive.
In a recent report, it is said half a million Malaysians are now reported to have been placed under a travel bar. This means the above people have been banned from leaving the country. In simple language, these people cannot travel overseas. They are now facing a travel bar.
As many as 424,653 persons have been blacklisted.
Their offences include defaulting in their income tax payments, some are said to have not paid their educational loans, while some have been declared bankrupts.
Just recently, I asked my elder brother, who is a Registrar of Companies, how much must a person owe to be declared a bankrupt. While it used to be RM12,000 a few years ago, my brother informed me that today the bankrupt amount has been raised to RM20,000.
Therefore, if there is anyone owing the above sum of money to someone, do be careful. The person whom you own that sum of money can very well declare you a bankrupt easily.
Talking about bankruptcy, friends tell me, a bankrupt can arrange for his bankruptcy to be temporarily lifted if he so wishes. A bankrupt as you are aware of cannot travel overseas. As such, if you are a bankrupt and need to travel overseas for some medical treatment, you could approach the Bankruptcy Department to have your status lifted for the time being.
This will then permit you to secure a passport for you to travel overseas. After you return from your mission, your bankruptcy status will again be imposed upon you.
I know of 2 close friends who took educational loans from the authorities in the 1970s. I shall endeavor not to disclose their identities. Neither shall I reveal the department to which they were attached. But the important thing is, both these friends of mine, as far as I know, never attempted to pay up the educational loans they received.
These loans helped to finally achieve their degrees. One of those people whom I am talking about has since passed away some 10 – 12 years ago. Another friend of mine has since retired.
Is it fair for the above two persons to have done what they did? Shouldn’t they be responsible enough to repay the loan which the government gave them for their higher education? By adopting such an attitude, have they ever thought that via their selfish acts, they have in reality prevented another poor student being given an educational loan from the authorities.
Speaking of youths who have taken educational loans, it is said some 46,887 youths between ages of 25 to 35 are soon to be blacklisted for not repaying their National Higher Education Fund (N.H.E.F.) loans which they took from the Corporation.
Action should have been taken on these defaulters a long time ago. But as they say, “it’s better late then never”.
Talking about the N.H.E.F., I wish to reiterate that I speak of it somewhat as an authority. You see, my own daughter, who took up a degree course in Multimedia University at Cyberjaya, took an educational loan of RM60,000. Since 6 – 7 years ago, when she started working, she has without fail been repaying her loan. As far as I am aware, my daughter repays her installment some RM450 – RM500 for this loan.
But unfortunately, many of her friends who similarly took the same loan, does not seem to be repaying the load at all. And so far, no action has been taken against them. At long last, the authorities have finally decided to take action on those students who have neglected to repay their outstanding loans.
Students who have failed to settle their loans taken will now be amongst other things, be :
i) Prevented from securing a passport and as such they are banned from travelling overseas.
ii) Cannot be allowed to take a bank loan to purchase homes.
Students who have taken educational loans in fact have been taking things rather lightly. They have now been banned from travelling overseas.
All in all, a total of 13 agencies such as Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC), Bank Negara Malaysia, the Securities Commission, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Prisons Department are but some of the departments seeking assistance to bar people from travelling overseas.
Besides students who have faulted in their repayment of education loans, it is said VIPs, celebrities and high profile individuals, Tan Sris, Datuk Seri and even Datuks are amongst those who are blacklisted and will not be no longer able to travel overseas from now on. The travel bar it seems has finally fallen on them.
Through the travel bar, which will be enforced soon, as much as half a million Malaysian will be banned from leaving the country. The Tourism Department, I am certain, will be very happy with the government’s latest decision.
How Does A “P” Driver (Probationary Drivers’ License) Lose His / Her License?
Rather recently, an ex-driving student of mine, Eton, came to report to me regarding “loss” of his “P” license. As the story unfolds, his purse had been “lifted” or stolen.
Inspite of my requesting him to be patient a few days longer, Eton being a young man, insisted I took steps to help him secure a Duplicate License immediately.
The cost for the above process came to roughly RM75.
One week later, when the license was ready, Eton came to my house and showed me his original license. It has been found a few days earlier.
On a serious vein now, how does one lose his / her “P” license? If one does not convert his / her “P” into a C.D.L. (Competent Drivers’ License) within a year of its “Probationary period” expiring, automatically, the “P” license becomes Null and Void.
There was a case of 2 other “P” students (both hardly 18 years old) who beat the red traffic lights in Shah Alam some 2 years back. Luck was not with them that day. J.P.J. stopped them.
Both their licenses were suspended. Both lost their “P” licenses. Luckily, both were given exemption from the Highway Code, their “Pra Ujian” and given “Special Test” for their practical test doing the Part I (Slope), Part II (Side Parking & 3 Point Turn) and Part III (Jalan Raya) all over again.
Both spent over RM800 – RM1000 to do the test all over again. Waste of time and energy. But they deserved it anyway. They had to lose their “P” license in such a manner. Anyway, as you are aware, under the Demerit System, a “P” holder will lose his / her “P” license upon receiving 10 points within a year.
Another story tell of how a “P” license holder went on to lose her license. She was a primary school teacher. Yet, she was ignorant to such an extent she never knew she had to convert her “P” into C.D.L.
Within 1 year of its expiry date, she claimed her instructor never told her the requirement.
So to all you driving instructors out there, do your duty to your students. Do not assume all your students know “everything”. Prevent such unnecessary thing from happening.
Up to date, the student concerned has yet to do her retest. Will she be able to regain her “P” ever again? As an instructor of so many years, I know it’s going to be a daunting task for her to pass her “P” license test again.
Who knows, she may never ever drive again. What a pity indeed!
There are even some students who claim they were busy studying overseas. And when they had completed their education, it was already too late.
How does one go along appealing to the authorities to get their license back?
As I mentioned earlier in the article, you can be exempted from certain parts of the test.
Whatever the reasons may be for you to have your license suspended or canceled, remember you are bound by Section 29 (i) (b) A.P.J. 1987. Your license should not exceed 3 years after expiry. Only then could you appeal.
As this article is mostly concerned with how a candidate goes on to lose his or her “P”, the mechanism of how one goes about appealing for exemption one’s license not to be suspended will be dealt in greater detail in a later article.
So do remember, my next article will be on “How to appeal to the Authorities with regards to a License getting suspended“.