Cars which belong to the driving schools or institutes undergo a 6 months compulsory inspection by the PUSPAKOM authorities. New cars, less than a year or two old, are inspected once a year.

The Road Transport Authorities has not conducted a “spot check” on most driving institutes, although they began operations some 10 years ago. On 27th of July 2010, the institute to which I am currently attached, was scheduled to undergo a “pemantauan” or spot check by the authorities.

All driving instructors and their vehicles were requested by the management to report to the institute by 8.00 a.m. the morning of 27th July, 2010. Amongst other things, V.E.s or “vehicle experts” from the state department were at our premises to conduct the “spot checks” above.

In this article, I will list down many of the things, most cars were reported to have contravened. Although no summons were issued, the above vehicles were cited for various offences. Out of a total of nearly 70 – 80 vehicles the institute owned, 36 of them were cited for various offences. Those offences will have been repaired. The vehicles will then have to be sent for another inspection by the J.P.J.

Would you believe that all of the institute’s new vehicles made up of Kancils, were pulled up for some faults or other in this exercise conducted recently?

A total of nearly 12 -15 of our vehicles were involved. It may sound surprising, but it is true. Before talking about other vehicles of the institute, which were similarly pulled up for offences, let us first talk about cars of the institute itself. The the above cars were used during “test days” for the Part III (Road Test) of the practical test which a candidate has to undergo.

The institute, due to wrong advices given to the management, had decided to remove the Kancil’s rear screen wipers. All the Kancils were without such wipers when they were inspected. According to the authorities, all commercial vehicles used by institutes for conducting business, must be completely equipped.

The above vehicles were cited as being incomplete. Our vehicles will be given 2 weeks to have the wipers fixed. The vehicles will have to be sent in for a special inspection by the J.P.J. authorities later.

Below, I will list 6 items which of my colleagues faced in the recent “pemantuan” exercise.

1. Excessive steering free play.

Excessive free play of the steering is dangerous. Students especially, will find it difficult to control the steering well. Instructors should see to it, that steering free play more than half an inch either way, should be rectified immediately.

2. Horns which are too weak or non-audible.

Car horns should be loud and clear when applied. Horns are an important item of a car. Most Kancil cars do not seem to have horns which are very audible. They are infact not loud enough when applied. A car, whose horns are not loud enough, will not please the vehicle experts who are testing the car. You will be cited for possessing weak horns during an examination.

3. Air con unit not cool enough.

Malaysia is reputed to possess very hot temperatures. In today’s condition, to be learning in a non air-con car is indeed unbearable. Instructors should see to it that the air con condition of the car, which is used to tutor a student in driving, should have a good air conditioning unit. This will provide the student a conductive learning atmosphere.

4. Signages of driving school/institute not following requirements.

Some instructors do not seem to adhere to the departments’ rules and regulations. Some make these signages of their own, when their old signages become worn out. They should in fact get new signages from the establishment. Sometimes, it has been found that even L plates differ from the standard Ls approved by the authorities.

5. Poor brakes found in many institute’s vehicle.

Many units of our institute’s vehicles, when tested, were found to have braking systems which are not satisfactory. Vehicles with poor brakes, were immediately summoned. Owners of such vehicles will have to get their brakes repaired before it is sent to the authorities for the next inspection.

6. Paintwork or body work of vehicles not in satisfactory condition.

Some vehicles have dented body work and broken fenders, signals and lamps. After some time, the paintwork of the vehicles have faded. Such vehicles need a new coat of paint. Conditions of such cars need to be repaired before it is brought in to the authorities for another round of inspection. The inspection was scheduled for the 10th of August, 2010.

The above are 6 things the authorities found “wrong” with our institute’s cars in the spot check exercise conducted way back in 27th of July 2010. On the whole, the authorities should conduct more of such tests. They are good for the welfare of the institutes.