The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is considering making the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) and speed limiter devices compulsory in express buses, a measure discussed earlier this year. Additionally, bus drivers could be subject to a demerit system.

This was said by Tan Sri Syed Hmid Albar in a The Sun Daily report, following a bus crash in Johor recently which claimed 14 lives. Hamid said many buses plying Malaysian highways do not have such devices installed, but newer buses that were introduced recently came pre-equipped with speed limiters.

“The problem is, just look at how many existing buses have them installed, and how many do not? And when an accident happens, it’s usually because they do not comply to SPAD’s regulations and requirements,” said Syed. He also said that SPAD is considering installing telematics – a monitoring system similar to the black boxes on commercial aircraft – to record the bus driver’s driving characteristics.

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Additionally, a demerit system could deter drivers from breaking the law, but this would require co-ordination with the relevant enforcement agencies over SPAD’s area of jurisdiction, said Syed. “Currently, we are already giving out prizes to the best bus companies and what not. Now, I think what would be the best move is to have the demerit system introduced,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) director-general Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon wants the introduction of risk-based insurance, in order to compel express bus companies to take safety seriously. According to Prof Wong, bus companies that do not consider safety and pose a greater danger on the road should pay a higher premium.