The Transport Ministry is planning to suspend or revoke the licences of errant motorists who endanger the lives of the public, according to a report by The Star.

Deputy Transport minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told the daily that his ministry is proposing tough new measures that could allow the Road Transport Department (JPJ) to act against those with multiple outstanding traffic summonses, even before they go to court.

The move is a response to the recent major Genting Highlands bus accident, in which 37 people lost their lives. The driver was found to have 16 outstanding traffic police summonses – 15 for speeding and one for road obstruction – but continued to drive as he was never prosecuted.

“MIROS (the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety and Research) has been directed to chair a meeting to look at ways to remove immediately from our roads errant drivers who pose a threat to public safety,” Abdul Aziz told reporters outside Parliament.

“MIROS will come out with the mechanism to implement the stricter measures with the Road Transport Department (JPJ) tasked with enforcing it,” he said, adding that JPJ could suspend or revoke the licences of errant drivers who have yet to be ‘blacklisted’ following court action.

A driver is ‘blacklisted’ if he or she accumulates the full 15 demerit points under the Kejara Demerit Points System, says the report. This prevents the driver from renewing his or her licence. It is understood, however, that the demerit points can only be recorded either after the driver has paid outstanding summonses or after he or she is found guilty in court of the violation(s).

“As of September 19 this year, there were 72,316 Commercial Vehicle Licence holders who have records of multiple outstanding summonses based on JPJ records,” Abdul Aziz said in reply to Kalabakan MP Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh in Parliament, adding that the driver of the bus that crashed in Genting could not be ‘blacklisted’ as proceedings to prosecute him were not started.

Abdul Ghapur had earlier lamented that reckless drivers were not being acted upon. He urged the government to allow JPJ and the police to take immediate action without the need for a lengthy court trial.

The deputy Transport minister said that issues such as low bus driver wages would be looked into as a contributing factor to the high number of accidents as suggested by Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegeran. He opined that bus drivers’ wages should be based on fixed income instead of the number of trips.