8 Traffic Offenses Most Malaysians Do Not Know

Although many of us drivers may have years of experience in driving, do not be surprised many may not know certain things they do violates traffic rules.

I would like to mention 8 things a driver, irregardless of whether he or she is an experienced driver or one that just recently obtained his “P” license, are expected to know.

Nevertheless, even though some of the traffic offenses mentioned may have been touched upon in other earlier articles, I feel making a mention of them for yet another occasion is not a waste of time.

1. Do not switch on vehicle cabin lights when driving.

How many of us drivers are aware of this ruling? Unless you are of the old school, and taught by driving instructors some 25 or 30 years ago, don’t be surprised if you are not taught this ruling. I was taught by my instructor, Mr. Tiew Hock Lai, in the late 1960s, was reminded again and again about this important ruling.

2. Brake lights not functioning.

Some drivers may assume brake lights are insignificant items of a vehicle. In actual fact, brake lights are indeed very important. As such, drivers are advised to pay special attention to it. If you are stopped by either a police officer or a J.P.J. official, consider yourself infringing one of the laws of the Road Transport Ordinance 1987.

Drivers are therefore advised to see to it that your brake lights are in good working order. The same also applies to number plate lights of your car. These 2 things maybe little things, but in this case, little things may mean a lot. Believe it or not, you can be summoned by the authorities if you are unlucky.

3. Changing lanes less than 100 m or so at traffic lights.

In Singapore especially, traffic cops down there are very strict pertaining to this traffic law violation. Traffic conditions on the island are very heavy on most roads. The authorities down there cannot afford motorists and drivers flouting such laws. It would, I believe, led to chaotic conditions.

A driver therefore who decided to change lane less than 100 m from a traffic light junction will without a doubt be waved down by a traffic officer and cited for infringing a traffic offense. I am not implying that Malaysian drivers do not commit such things here. The only different thing in Malaysia is that even though Malaysian drivers likewise commit such atrocities, traffic officers condone such things.Malaysian drivers therefore lucky as compared to their counterparts driving in Singapore.

Whatever it is, Malaysian drives are advised against committing such traffic violations if you possibly can. Do not test your luck too far. Who knows, you may one day soon be cited for changing lanes near a traffic light.

4. Making a U-turn around a traffic lights junction.

I am sure, drivers of today, be it in Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand, may not be aware of the fact that making a U-turn around a traffic light pole is indeed an offense. Surprised?

Should you be living in one of the bigger towns in Malaysia, like Georgetown, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bharu, Ipoh etc, where traffic is rampant, you should in fact have knowledge of this traffic violation.

Malaysian drivers, in the early days before Merdeka in 1957 used to follow the British system of driving, whereby making a U-turn around a traffic light was disallowed. However, do not despair. Modern traffic rules and regulations at times permit a driver to make such designated turns.

Traffic conditions are such nowadays that the authorities have little choice besides allowing drivers to do such illegal things. So drivers should beware. If there aren’t any traffic signs to denote that you can turn at a traffic light, do not do it! If there are traffic signs specifically advising you not to perform it, then do not do it. Unless you are ready to be summoned.

I hear, especially in Singapore, if there are no signs prohibiting you doing it, go ahead and do it! It is then not a traffic offense.

5. Overtaking on the left side.

Even today, I am sure some drivers especially those younger motorists do not seem to realize the danger of attempting to overtake on the left! It is in fact, a dangerous thing to do. Should you in doing so, is crashed into by say a “L” driving school student out on his or her practical driving lesson, then obviously you are at fault.

One, all drivers and motorists should ideally stay clear or away from vehicles providing lessons to potential drivers. Two, overtaking on the left, especially on the road going out of town is obviously a “no-no”.

Steering control of a new student wavers from side to side. It is unsteady. That’s why instructor out on a mission with a new driver, have to control the steering from time to time to adjust it, so to say.

Therefore, if say a motorcyclist chooses to overtake on the left side of an “L” vehicle, then I can only retort, “you are living dangerously!”. Take my advice, do not overtake a driving school car on the left, ever. It’s dangerous!

6. Motorcycle pillion rider who do not sit straddling the machine.

Some motorcyclists who carry pillion riders may not be aware of the law which requires a pillion rider to sit straddling on a machine. Unlike in Thailand, where a pillion rider is allowed to sit sideways while riding a motorcycle, a pillion rider on Malaysian roads is not permitted to sit with his or her legs facing sideways.

The reasons why Malaysian laws in enforcing such a law or requirement is that according to surveys carried out, the straddling position of pillion appears to be safer as it permits him the opportunity to hold on to the rider’s torso or another part of the machine. There is also less likelihood for a pillion rider falling off the machine when emergency brakes are applied or when fast and dangerous corners are taken or performed.

For all those motorists and pillion riders who may not be aware of this ruling, hopefully will hence forth take note. Police and J.P.J. officers can arrest offenders who commit this infringement.

7. Crashing into a telephone or lamp post.

Are you as a driver or a motorcyclist, aware should you knock into a utility pole or post belonging to Telekom or TNB, you could be fined for destruction of public property by the authorities concerned. Unfortunately, not many drivers are aware of such a ruling.

8. A vehicle that breaks down in the midst of heavy traffic.

Should your vehicle happen to break down suddenly in a busy area in town for example, the driver of the vehicle is considered as having caused inconvenience to the public as well as to the police.

I have often been told by those experienced in such things, that the authorities possess the right to cite a driver for such offenses. The authorities argue that drivers of such vehicles have failed to maintain his or her vehicle in good mechanical order.

Above are 8 things you should keep a look out for. Keep a note of it and hopefully you will not be summoned for some of the things I have written.

By | 2012-09-21T22:19:18+08:00 August 2nd, 2010|Driving In Malaysia|13 Comments

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  1. Driving lessons Gloucester August 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Great article here because they let us know the violation we can commit if we disregard their traffic rules.As a visitor or tourist in their country we will know the proper guidelines for their road and going through our trip we will not have problems because at first we have been inform about their rules.

    • Cikgu Yap August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your comments and encouraging remarks.

  2. Lin Luo August 3, 2010 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    I am from China and would like to take driving test in Malaysia, but I face a problem of looking for the booklet on rules and regulation in English version. Any person who can help me?

    • Cikgu Yap August 4, 2010 at 6:45 pm - Reply

      Books on rules and regulation in English are hard to obtain. As far as I’m aware, there is only 1 English test in the market. Ask your driving instructor for help.

  3. Traffic Rules and Regulations. September 17, 2010 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Driving a vehicle is like a test in which we have to pass that test. If we will not able to pass that test certainly we have pay for that may be physical damage or any other loss will be there. We should drive the vehicle after getting all the information about Traffic rules and regulations.

    • Cikgu Yap September 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      Glad that a company like yourselves selling traffic and safety products from overseas have chosen to write into this blog. Hope readers will take good note of your establishment and make orders for your products and safety equipment necessary for their everyday usage.

  4. ET October 27, 2010 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Hi Cikgu Yap, i’ve been recently caught by police with overloaded car.(6 people in Proton Wira) and was issued a summon under the offence of “memandu melebihi muatan”. I asked the police whether how much demerit will be imposed on me n one of them actually told me it would be 10 points straight, which also means byebye to my P license. I was really terrified and my friend tried to talk to the police about giving me a chance and so on. Finally they asked me not to worry because i have 30 merits to be spent and I thought i was told that we P licensees only have 10 merits. On the next day i wanted to pay up my summon but the person in charge was apparently away for some courses. I asked for infos from the balai but none of them could give me an answer(what the hell…). So… finally the girl in the summon counter told me that usually we would not be given demerits for minor offences such as parking summons and so on. Im so confused now and i cant wait for another 24 hours to find out whether my license is screwed or not. Plz help me Cikgu Yap

    • Cikgu Yap November 2, 2010 at 12:32 am - Reply

      Carry 6 in a car is an offense. Get 10 demerit and its possible for your license to be suspended. Parking summonses normally not given demerit points.

  5. Andy March 22, 2012 at 5:26 am - Reply

    I made a u turn just before the trafficlight pole,light was red, but there were no signs indicating we cannot make a u turn,i was given a summons for not stoping at the traffic lights ,please help, i pleaded not guilty in court, case on 6 april 2012

    • Cikgu Yap March 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      As an instructor, I’ve always maintained the notion that it’s illegal to make a U turn round traffic light. To make matter worst, the traffic light was then Red when you did the turn.

  6. abahko April 29, 2016 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    regardless the country has so many rules and regulations to follow, yet the the enforcement is so terribadly lousy where its seems like the implementations are not there. though it served no apparent reasons to know the offenses and motorists still commit the wrong doings. the country enforcement must play the most important roles, then only we talk about offense awareness. thus it is like talking without actions.

  7. Munusamy August 4, 2019 at 2:20 am - Reply

    I was involved in an road accident on the way to work. I was riding my motorcycle with a penion driver on the motor bike lane along the federal highway. I suddendly ran over a brick which I did not notice on the lane and fell off the bike and both sustained injury and took treatment in the hospital. I went to the nearest police station to make a report on the accident, the offcier who took the report, mention that I committed an offence where I would be issued a summon for not carefull while riding motorbike and would have go to court to pay a penality RM 3000.00. Am I committed a traffic offence for falling off the bike due to not noticing the stone? Please advice.

    • Cikgu Yap August 7, 2019 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      Studying your case of motorcycle incident, it appears only you, perhaps your friend, seems to be injured. No other casualties to other road users. In my experience with “motorcycle “ cases, the “police” who quoted a “fine” of RM3000 for your case seems to be “jesting” or joking! That’s all what I can say. Anyway, ask the good officer, under which law is he quoting such a fantastic figure.

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