Any driver or motorcyclist should know that to drive a vehicle or ride a machine without a valid license, contravenses Section 26 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987. Likewise, it is also an offence if one’s driving license is “invalid” or “expired”.

Driving with an expired or invalid license will incur insurance companies refusing to provide or reject insurance coverage to vehicles should accidents take place.

In view of the above, Malaysian motorists and motorcyclists should be aware of having valid driving license whilst they are driving. We have to ensure that we renew our driving license and make sure that our vehicles have the proper insurance coverage and road taxes. It is the “onus” therefore of each individual driver and motorcyclist to ascertain that everything is in its proper order.

However, the authorities, very recently announced a new proposal to assist the motoring public to help them remember the “expiry” dates of their driving licenses. It was announced, that the authorities will soon be introducing a plan whereby driving licenses of Malaysian will be readjusted to coincide with a person’s date of birth date or “birthday”.

This, the authorities firmly believe, will go on to ensure that no driver or motorist will from henceforth get into trouble with the law, such as the authorities, the police and the Highway Patrol that man our highways and roads.

A good idea? You may, as motorists and drivers agree or disagree with the noble idea mooted. Although, I agree wholeheartedly with the latest proposal, and considers it a good idea, nevertheless, it feels there are more important things facing the Malaysian motoring public today that needs to be given due attention.

And in this article, examples of serious problems existing in Malaysia today, which should ideally be given the proper and immediate attention, will be highlighted. The problems are not new. Only that, the authorities have unfortunately failed to provide them due attention for such a long time.

What seems to be the “serious” problems of which I am talking about? Amongst some of the problems we are referring to must surely be:-

1. The non wearing of safety helmets as required by law in Malaysia.

Although the necessity of wearing safety helmets was introduced and made compulsory years ago, very unfortunately, this law seems to have been disregarded and ignored by many motorcyclists.

It now appears that more and more motorcyclists have chosen to ignore the safety helmet requisition. In kampungs or “villages”, housing estates, and even towns, one can easily observe how this important ruling has been disregarded. Therefore, it is about time the authorities, especially the police, take stern actions against chose who flout the law, before any unforeseen incidents take place.

2. Ferrying more than the number of pillion riders on a motorcycle.

A motorcycle intended to “carry” or “ferry” one pillion rider only. But in Malaysia, we often see motorcyclists frequently bringing more than 1 pillion rider on a motorbike. At times, we can even observe a motorcyclist ferrying two or even three pillion riders on one bike. This represents a serious offence.

The authorities, and in this case, the “police”, are implored to take strict actions upon those, especially kampong folks or those who are from the “village”, to prevent them from committing such unwarranted acts. After all, such stern actions by the authorities are intended to protect them.

3. The use of xenon lights by motorists.

Motorists should by now be aware that the use of “xenon” lights is prohibited. As explained by the Road Transport Department or Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ), it has reiterated that only “original” xenon lights which are factory fitted or in other words those xenon lights which are not modified by “accessory” shops, are permitted to be use.

But the saddest thing of all is that I feels, more and more motorists are beginning to use “xenon” lights. The problem has infact gone out of hand.

Unless, strict or stern actions are taken against owners of such bright, blinding lights on vehicles, there will come a time when the above problem will reach a stage whereby it is no longer controllable. When it reaches such a stage, it will then be next to impossible take any actions against the use of xenon lights in this country. The authorities should think about this problem seriously and take immediate actions to address the problem now itself.

4. Not adhering to the traffic lights system.

Motorists, especially motorcycle riders are very good of ignoring the traffic lights system that exists in this country. The problem comes about, as a result of drivers, especially motorcyclists, who are poorly disciplined. In fact, such motorcyclists have no discipline at all.

What should be done? The authorities who are responsible to enforce such laws, especially the police and the Road Transport Department should take immediate and strict actions upon those who disregard traffic lights. Fines which are presently imposed, should be made stricter. Licenses of those who break the traffic rules, should be withdrawn immediately.

The Automated Enforcement System (AES) which the authorities announced is to be implemented at all busy traffic lights in town, should be put in place as soon as possible. For readers who unaware, in the A.E.S, c.c.t.v cameras will be installed at all busy road junctions and other traffic congested areas to nab those who beat the traffic lights system.

5. Non usage of hands-free sets while driving.

Not using a hands-free set whilst driving contravenses the Road Transport Act 1987 via circular K17(A) R.T.R, the courts under Section 119 (2), can fine a person a sum of RM 300 for the above offence.

Motorists who do not have a hands-free set should ideally stop by the side of the road before continuing with their conversation. But the problem is, how many drivers will heed the advice given?

The authorities, especially the police are requested to take stern and drastic actions on drivers who use the handphone device whilst driving.

6. Illegal racing by youths.

“Illegal” racing is very prominent in this country. Under Section 81 of the Road Transport Act 1987, stern actions can be taken against those who either take part in illegal racing or “merempit” motor or organize them.

But nothing seems to be able to prevent youths of this country from partaking in this dangerous sport. Not even a hefty fine of RM 2000 or even confiscation of machines seems to be able to frighten those who are involved in illegal races from staying away from such events.

The authorities, especially the police and the Road Transport Department must come up with better ideas as to combat this scourge that is facing the nation. The inability to solve this problem has led to many youths losing their live.

Not too long ago, a friend of my daughter, met an accident with a group of 50 or so “illegal” racers at approximately 11.00 pm one night. After crashing into the car belonging to the above driver near Puchong, the “illegal” racers or “mat rempit”, as they are popularly known, broke all four windows of the victim’s car.

They then robbed him of all his money together with his handphone as well. Such incidences act as a bad publicity for the country’s image. The above “scourge” happens practically everyday all over our country. Unless something is done to alleviate the country of this worrisome problem, the future of the country appears slim.

The authorities should seriously consider drastic steps to stop the problem of illegal motor racing in this country as soon as possible. It has to be stopped right away!