Malaysiakini Letter

Let's all make this Hari Raya travel incident-free

JD Lovrenciear

LETTER | Road safety and good behaviour begin and must be reinforced at driving schools.

Indeed, PLUS should be commended for its excellent road safety initiatives and communication to the public.

As the country sets into the Hari Raya mood and the exodus is setting in, PLUS has introduced several road safety measures and is continuously communicating these to road users and educating them as well on the mutual responsibility that must be shared to make this Raya travel almost incident-free.

It is commendable that PLUS has committed much money, measures and human capital in carrying out its mission to keep our roads safer and to provide emergency assistance.

However, it is most frustrating to see how drivers and riders still do not care, even in this season of the great exodus that will see millions of vehicles plying our roadways.

Switching lanes abruptly; using handphone while manoeuvring their vehicles; hogging and a host of bad behaviours that PLUS keeps reminding road users are thrown in the wind.

Perhaps, after the festivities, the Ministry of Transport and related agencies should address the driving school syllabus, requirements and the standard operating procedures.

It is time to nationalise the driving schools. It must not be seen as a privatised business anymore but as an integral service to be provided, supervised and monitored directly by the ministry.

Yes, many in the business will scream that their livelihoods and investments will be affected.

But we must put national safety and saving lives and limbs above making money.

In addition, there is also a need to get licence holders back to school every 10 years which must include vetting driving/riding licence holders for past offences and current health conditions.

Further, the issue of corruption that we all know lurks within the corridors of the Road Transport Department offices nationwide must be stopped.

If we have to use the expertise of our Special Branch, let us do it, and once and for all plug this scourge that is ultimately destroying peoples' lives on our roadways.

If we are not prepared to do all these, then it is a matter of time before even well-intended and responsible organisations like PLUS will throw the towel in.

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