Transnasional

The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has been urged by road safety experts to reconsider its decision not to make it compulsory for the installation of telematics device in buses as part of the requirements under the Malaysian Motor Insurance Pool (MMIP) coverage.

Universiti Putra Malaysia Road Safety Research Centre Associate Professor Dr Law Teik Hua said by making the telematics device compulsory in device, it will provide useful information on policy and regulation.

“In Malaysia, the crash rate for buses and the injury rate for bus occupants are relatively high when compared with other transport modes. In 2013, the crash rate for buses was 140 cases for every thousand buses,” he said in a report by The Sun.

He added that bus drivers were exposed to higher risk for crashes due to their long hours of driving and exposure to different road environments. This move will assist in understanding and quantifying their risks, which in turn could help improve safety. To help with its implementation, Law suggested a financial subsidy to bus operators for the installation and maintenance of telematics devices.

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Telematics would allow the authorities to determine the number of hours a bus driver had been on the road, according to Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia Civil Engineering Department lecturer Jocelyn Ng. This data can be obtained in real time and analysed later.

Adding to this, Universiti Sains Malaysia deputy vice-chancellor Professor Dr Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah stated that the compulsory implementation of such devices will enable a situation where bus companies takes ownership of their fleet safety.

In March, it was decided that the implementation of telematics devices on buses will not be compulsory under the MMIP’s terms. Instead, the system will remain optional to bus operators for the moment. SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah said that the telematics devices were no longer compulsory as they already had GPS as the tracking mechanism for express and stage buses connected to SPAD’s Performance Monitoring Hub System.

In addition, The Sun reported that the cost to fit the telematics devices on buses totalled RM3,400 per vehicle – consisting of RM2,300 per item, RM200 installation fee (outside Klang Valley) and RM900 annual service fee. What are your thoughts on the matter? Should telematics devices be a compulsory fitment on buses?