From May next year, there’ll be two types of regular Class D, or car, driving licences – the one in effect right now and a new one, which is the automatic transmission driving licence. As part of the reworked driving curriculum that will be introduced, the new licence will enable learner drivers to learn to drive and take the practical test in an automatic car, reports state.

The new licence – which presumably will only allow a valid auto licence holder to drive only cars with an auto box – will be implemented nationwide once the driving curriculum is revised, according to Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.

Abdul Rahim added that despite the introduction of the auto transmission driving licence, learner drivers will still be able to choose to learn and take the practical test in either a manual or an automatic transmission vehicle.

“The ministry is not in a hurry to implement the automatic car driving test, to be fair to driving school operators. We need to give them time as they have to replace manual cars with automatic cars, and this is costly,” the minister said, adding that more people, especially older learners and women, will prefer to drive an automatic as it was easier.

Meanwhile, the reports add that Abdul Rahim said the new driving curriculum will focus on producing discerning and disciplined motorists to help reduce fatal accidents, since human factors were the root cause behind 60 to 70% of accidents.

“Previously, our curriculum emphasised driving skills and knowledge of the highway code, but now we want to churn out considerate motorists,” he said. As for the Kejara demerit system, he said there was no proposal to replace the system, stating that it was still relevant and used in many countries.