Understanding The Malaysian Road Transport Act

Some Important Sections of the Road Transport Act 1987 A Driver Should Know

The Road Transport Act (RTO) 1987 has often been mentioned quite frequently in our articles. Like a good Muslim where knowledge of the Syariah Law is important, a motorist should be well versed with the Road Transport Act 1987.

Today’s article will focus on some of the important sections which a driver should be aware of.

Section 26 (1) of the RTO reiterates that no one is allowed to drive a vehicle without a valid license.

Section 26 (2) further goes on to say that those who contravene the above said law is liable to be fined. For this, a driver can be summoned RM150 in a court of law.

The same applies to driving with an expired driving license and non possession of a driving license.

Some readers ask is it an offence not having a license if stopped by the police of J.P.J?

The answer is “yes”. Therefore, make certain you have your driving license with you prior to leaving your house.

Many motorists are unaware that it is an offence to drive underage. The minimum age for driving cars is 17. For motor, it is 16. Drivers who are underage contravene Section 39 of the RTO. A RM1000 awaits you. You can even be given a 6 months imprisonment or both.

This offence is in fact a court case offense. It means an offender has to appear before a magistrate. It cannot be compounded.

A reader rather recently wrote in to this blog to inquire regarding “speeding”. This seems to be a major problem with many motorists. As such, I feel its pertinent this problem be addressed.

Section 69 (1A) talks about the question of speeding. Below are some important facts about speeding which you ought to know:

i) Excess of 40 km/h – RM300 fine

ii) 26 km/h – 40km/h – RM200 fine

iii) 1km/h – 25 km/h – RM100 fine

The above applies to all national roads across the entire nation.

A “P” driver caught speeding can be given 10 Demerit Points. His or her license can be suspended.
To drive carelessly or with undue care, and if you cause death, you can expect to be slapped with Section 41 of the RTO 1987. This is a court case summons. For this, you could get a mandatory jail sentence of 2 to 10 years jail or fined a total of RM500 to RM2000. Your license could also be suspended too.

However, if one is to drive dangerously and with undue care, but not causing death, you will be charged under Section 42. Mandatory jail sentence of 1 day to 5 years awaits you. A RM500 to RM15,000 fine also awaits you.

You will be charged under Section 43 if you should drive dangerously and with undue care, but no death is caused. This court case incident carries a no jail sentence but a RM4000 – RM10,000 fine failing which you can expect to be jailed not more than 12 months.

Let’s now come to the more serious charges under the RTO 1978.

Section 44 is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is in fact a :

i) Court case incident.

ii) Mandatory imprisonment 3 to 10 years.

iii) Fine of RM8000 – RM20,000.

iv) Your driving license can be suspended.

To commit drunk driving is to contravene Section 45 of the RTO 1978. The fine is RM500 or 1 month’s prison sentence.

For the 2nd offence, one gets a fine of RM1000 and a 3 months imprisonment or both.

And finally, the most famous of all summonses, Section 81 RTO 1987 – Merempit Motor or illegal racing among youths today.

For this, the fines imposed are:

i) A fine of RM2000.

ii) 6 months imprisonment or both.

iii) 6 months imprisonment and your license can be suspended for one year.

The above are some of the important sections of the Road Transport Act 1978, which as a driver, you are expected to be aware of.

Take good note of it, as knowledge of it could make you a better driver.

In the forthcoming articles, the possibility of highlighting other important aspects of Sections of the Road Transport Act 1978 will be made.

Drive safely!

By | 2016-11-10T17:17:47+08:00 February 14th, 2010|Driving In Malaysia|30 Comments

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  1. Jack July 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Please explain about the malaysian act and law on the emergency warning triangle during the breakdown of car. What is the requirement?
    Thank you.

    • Cikgu Yap July 14, 2012 at 9:17 am - Reply

      The RTO 1987 requires all vehicle to possess an emergency triangle. Commercial vehicles especially are time and again checked and action taken.

      The RTO 1987 provides for a RM300 fine for vehicles that do not have the above important item. But frankly, in Malaysia the authorities seldom enforce this law strictly. It is the onus for vehicle owners to see to it that they possess this item. The safety of a driver and its passengers in reality depends on it.

      For further information, in France and other European countries, having an emergency triangle in your car is a legal requirement. In Spain, non Spanish registered vehicle has to have one warning triangle. While Spanish registered vehicles are required to have 2 warning triangle instead!

      In short, all drivers should warn other drivers of potential hazards in an accident or breakdown.

  2. vimalsreethiren September 4, 2013 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    I’m 15 and i drove my mom’s car last week. The police caught me and gave me a form saying i have to attend in the court. What will happen in the court ?

    • Cikgu Yap September 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      You will be given a heavy sentence which might amount to one to two thousand ringgit.

  3. xiaobai221 December 23, 2013 at 9:10 am - Reply

    yesterday i got a accident at around 0430am .this accident didnt caused any injury and im alone. the car finally hit a billboard and stop .now the police change me under sek 43 . but my question is there any way to solve this summon or i should hire a lawyer.will it cause me spend more money ? cause im not wealthy .thank for helping.

    • Cikgu Yap December 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      You will be charged for reckless driving. You will also most likely be fined for causing damage to public property. Appeal to the court for a lesser punishment.

  4. rajev August 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    hello, im 17. old enough to drive. but i havent done my licence yet. but sometimes i will take the car out. what will happen if im stopped by the police?

    • Cikgu Yap August 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      Don’t drive without a licence.

  5. Stephen Tan November 2, 2014 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Dear Cikgu Yap,

    I had an accident last week… Which I bump to other car at federal highway.
    But, my license was expired 3 years ago.

    Wanted to ask:

    (1) what can I do, if the car owner that I hit cannot claim the insurance?
    (2) what should I do, if I wanted to renew my CDL license?

    Please do advise me!

    Thank you very much.

    • Cikgu Yap November 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      Dear Stephen, Sorry to say you are a very irresponsible driver. You seem to be unaware of the difficulties you’ve gotten yourself into. Be ready to anticipate the other driver engaging legal counsel against you.

  6. SK December 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Cikgu Yap,

    My fren involved in an accident today when she wanted to turn right but the motorcyclist who was driving straight hit her, at the middle of door, at left driver site.

    From the photos of the car damage, it was hit at the middle, which seems that my fren already turn half way to the junctions but the motor cyclist who was driving fast didn’t slow down.

    When she made the police report with the towing guy, they both hinted her that she will need to pay RM500 , other than compound RM300, so that the sergeant won’t charged her under seksyen 43- reckless driving which will ends up as court case & fines.

    What’s your opinion in this ? Should she paid them? Or it is arguable that it’s the cyclist fault? The cyclist ended up injured & has broken hand & now in hospital.


    • Cikgu Yap December 31, 2014 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      Dear SK, Do not be influenced by what anyone says. Make police report at any police station. Let the police decide under which section of A.P.J 1987 they deem fit! Who is right, let the police decide!

  7. Jill March 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Cikgu Yap, my ques is regrding underage driving, i read your reply on the same ques posted earlier, but just to clarify if the penalty for now still the same? 6months imprisonment or RM1000 or both? And who woild be the best person could talk to for more information regarding this? such as what do we need to do to prepare for the court andwhat would be the possible consequences.I am asking for ny brother who.committed this offence. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

    • Cikgu Yap March 22, 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      Get a lawyer to defend your brother! No other choice.

  8. cinda ayu August 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    under driving school act,if the driver below 21 years old, is the excess applicable ?
    Kindly advise

    • Cikgu Yap August 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      Excess has nothing to do with driver’s age. Most insurance policies impose it. Negotiate with them upon purchase.

  9. Vien September 28, 2015 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    Cikgu, A PDL holder has bang my brother’s car at a roundabout and both my brother & the PDL has filed police report. During my brother’s oral investigation in HQ Police station my brother was informed by police official that after hearing both parties’ testimonies he could judged which party was at fault. He asked for my brother’s point of view. My brother give him his honest and fairest reply that both party should be given summon since both parties have hit each other’s vehicle. But the official said he cannot issue summon in this case in fact he advise my brother not to further this case and assured my brother that the PDL holder has agreed not to further up this case to make claims on my brother but no report will be filed in police station to reflect this no claim issue.
    My brother is afraid if there is no black & White and proof this case will be twisted.

    Pls advise…

    • Cikgu Yap October 7, 2015 at 9:16 am - Reply

      If you can accept the police request, well and good. If not, make police report and let the law take its course.

  10. Lee Chooi May 6, 2016 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Cikgu Yap,
    A motorcyclist hit be from the back and he want to claim against by motor insurance for body injury. Since he is at the wrong side why he still can claim against me. which part of the road ordinance say that I must give way since he is a motorcyclist.

  11. mack May 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Road is defined as federal road in the Road Transport Act.
    Does the RT act covers state roads and roads in housing areas?
    Thank you

  12. Shadi Persian July 22, 2016 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Dear Mr Yap,
    Yesterday I penalised under “road transport act 1987” and in the form is written (notice under subsection 53(1) rules 2003). It is mentioned in this form that I must go to court of Magistrate. I am not Malaysian citizen. Now I am wondering where is this court and what will happen to me? I hope you can help.


    • Prasad January 9, 2017 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      Hi shadi,
      I am prasad got same problem may I know what happened in your case

  13. TC January 14, 2017 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Dear Mr Yap,

    im not this call an accident or not. when i want turn in left to a place, im not sure why he fell down to the road behind my car. i stop my car and check that nothing hit on my car and his moto no damage too but he is serious injured. i have helping call ambulance and send to hospital. i went balai to make a report but officer said my car no demaga that no report can be make. The cyclist now in ICU internal bleeding. im not sure what should i do and his family will go balai to make a report. That office gave me his contact if anything can look for him for this case. anything that you may advice me for this?
    looking forward to hear from you.


    • Cikgu Yap June 27, 2017 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      Your car has not been damaged. Obviously the motorcycle rider lost control of his machine. All you can do is to wait for the police to contact you.

  14. Shawn June 11, 2017 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Hi cikgu yap

    I had a accident with my car between a motorist which is underage and without a driving lesson.
    I had the accident on jan and i receive a magistrace court summon that stated in my insurance letter and ask me to attend it.
    The motorist didnt bring his ic..didnt wear helmet and bang into the front of my car.. the motorist is not injured ..minor sratch on his knee.
    I have proof of his motor damage and his injuries with his face and being..

    What will happen next in court?

    • Cikgu Yap June 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Wait for his lawyer other authorities to contact you if there’s further actions.

  15. Way July 18, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Hi Cikgu Yap,
    I have a commercial lorry that transport goods for my company. Recently my lorry driver was slapped with a summon under the RTO 1987 for not having a fire extinguisher. May I know which part of the RTO 1987 that states that it’s a requirement to keep a fire extinguisher in my lorry? Also do you know where I can find out what other emergency equipment that I have to keep in my lorry?

  16. Yeoh Cheng Lim August 21, 2018 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    I understand it’s illegal to make U-turns at road junctions, crossroads, etc unless there is a sign that say so.
    What act Ir regulation is that and where can I find that.
    Thank you.

  17. Tyler May 21, 2019 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Hi, I am generally 17 this year but have yet to reach my birthday. Should I be caught driving without license, will I be penalised with similar punishments?

    • Cikgu Yap May 22, 2019 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      Driving with No licence incur a stiff FINE.

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