In Malaysia, the public regards the profession of a doctor rather highly.
To become a doctor, one has to first of all study at least 7 – 8 years. Medical studies undoubtedly cost a lot of money. Besides all these, a person who intends to become a doctor must have good academic qualifications.
One the other hand, does the public realize that to drive a goods vehicle, one needs to possess a Goods Driver’s License (G.D.L.). It is most unfortunate, not many people understand that getting such a license can be quite difficult and a big hassle.
It is not enough for a driver to just own a Competent Driver’s License (C.D..L.). In Malaysia, if he or she wishes to drive a van, a small lorry, lorries or even large trailers, such goods ferrying or carrying vehicles in fact requires a G.D.L.
In case you are not aware, Datsun C20, Toyota Hiace and Mitsubishi Combo vans all require that a driver handling such a vehicle should be in possession of a G.D.L. Even small transport lorries up to 3 tons, all have this important requirement.
The J.P.J. has deemed it necessary to ensure all drivers of goods vehicles have G.D.L. Stern actions would without a doubt be taken against drivers who fail to possess this certificate.
As a driving instructor of over 40 years of experience in the driving school entity, if one were to ask of me,” is it difficult to secure a G.D.L.?” I would certainly say that it is.
Unlike in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the rules and regulations were rather laxed, and the Road Transport Department wasn’t that well organized, compared to what it is today, getting a C.D.L. then was simply a matter of supplying 2 copies photos and a photocopy of one’s identity card to the authorities and one could get a C.D.L. out.
There wasn’t any necessity to attend any courses like we have to these days. Certainly, as I remember, no 50 questions objective test like we have today.
Now, let’s ponder over the question of why the Transport Authorities today makes it so difficult for drivers to obtain the G.D.L. certificate. Unlike the yester years, traffic today is without doubt very heavy. Heavy traffic, as one should be aware, causes accidents.
Besides this, goods ferrying vehicles are mostly huge and powerfully built entities. Such dangerous and fast going vehicles should not fall under the control of people who are incompetent to handle them.
In the name of preventing unforeseen accidents from happening, I feel the Road Transport Authorities is correct in limiting the number of drivers and allowing only those well qualified to handle such dangerous vehicles on our roads.
Now that you know why it is necessary to make it difficult to obtain a G.D.L., let us proceed then to tell you the requirements needed to obtain it. The requirements are as given below:
i) A driver should be a Malaysian citizen. Non citizen are not allowed to apply for it.
ii) An applicant should be at least 21 years of age.
iii) Those applying should have a C.D.L. for class D (cars).
iv) “P” drivers cannot apply for G.D.L.
Basically, the above are some of the requisite for a person to apply for a G.D.L. There are however other requirements needed for one to obtain a G.D.L.
Any person who wants to get a G.D.L. should first of all undergo a medical examination by a medical practitioner. The doctor, be it a private one, will conduct checks upon a driver’s health.
Eyesight is important and are therefore checked rather thoroughly. Checks are also made to certify whether or not a person should be allowed to drive a public vehicle.
High blood pressure represents one ailment or malady which a driver should not possess. Serious cases of high blood pressure, will I’m sure disqualify a driver wishing to secure a G.D.L.
Then there are the compulsory lectures which a potential candidate has to undergo. These courses run for as long as 2 days. Courses such as the above are jointly run by both the J.P.J. official and a qualified and well seasoned personnel from the driving institute.
The above course ends with a final lecture which is normally conducted by an official from the Road Transport Department. After such grueling lectures, the course finally ends with a 50 question objective test.
To get through the exam, one has to obtain a passing mark of 42. If should not be a surprise, that not many people can pass this exam though. Those who need the above license, will therefore have to resort to all sorts of means to get through this difficult exam.
And finally, it should also be known that a G.D.L., unlike other driving licenses for Class D (cars), and Class B2 and B (motorcycles) which can be paid for 2, 3 or even 5 years, license for G.D.L. can only be paid for a maximum period of 1 year only.
To renew a G.D.L, a driver has to again undergo a further examination by a private doctor. This not only incur further expenses, but causes lots of inconvenience and hassle.
Besides all these requirements expected of a G.D.L. holder, constant checks by J.P.J. officials and road blocks frequently target drivers of G.D.L vehicles. It is a constant harassment which G.D.L. drivers unfortunately have to bear.
A word of advice though, to all G.D.L. holders and drivers before this article ends. As holders of G.D.L., it is in your hands that accidents on the road can be prevented.
Lorries, buses, vans, trailers and all other transport vehicles depend on you to keep accident in our country low. Therefore, when you stop your vehicles on road shoulders, remember not to forget to install your vehicle’s hazard warning lights. It acts as a warning to other motorists.
At night, when you stop at emergency lanes, should your vehicle sustain mechanical problems or maybe you are stopping for a rest or refreshments, make sure you have ready an emergency triangle to be placed approximately 20 – 30 meters behind your vehicle. Such practices are of utmost importance.
Many accidents, all across the nation have taken place. Many have lost their lost due to your negligence. Ensure that as a responsible G.D.L. holder, you do not commit the above mistake from henceforth.
Accidents, especially on highways and our expressways can be prevented. It is up to you, as G.D.L. drivers to prevent it. Remember what has been suggested by this blog. As they say, it is all up to you. It is all in your hands. Do your duty to cut down accidents. The public will forever thank you for a duty well done.