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The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) is looking into whether or not Puspakom needs to increase the frequency of mandatory periodic inspections of public transport vehicles. Currently, the mandatory periodic inspections are carried out twice a year. If the frequency of the inspections are increased, the quality of their services will improve, according to MIROS director-general Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon in a Bernama report.

“We will evaluate the need to increase the frequency of the vehicle inspections, which currently only requires public transport operators to go through the routine at Puspakom once every six months, and other aspects which can be improved. Not only will this involve downtime, it also incurs additional maintenance costs which the operators will have to bear if the frequency of inspections goes up,” he said.

This was said when he was asked to comment on the incident involving an express bus which lost control and ploughed into 10 other vehicles, southbound on the North-South Expressway after the Menora Tunnel. Wong remarked that the incident cannot be attributed to road conditions, as the relevant authorities had already taken highest level of safety precautions in maintaining the passage involved.

“Road users should be more alert and responsible in ensuring the safety of their own and of other road users when using riskier roads such as the ones near the Menora Tunnel. Drivers of private and public service vehicles need to know what needs to be done when approaching steep areas such as this, by slowing their vehicle to the determined speed limit and by using lower gears,” Wong added.

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Meanwhile, the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC) has recommended that enforcement agencies conduct more frequent checks on the identities and backgrounds of heavy vehicles such as buses, in order to find drivers with past traffic summonses. Chairman of the commission, Datuk Yaacob Md Sam told Bernama that this will enable the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Road Transport Department (JPJ) and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to take action against the drivers and operators involved.

He said that stern measures need be taken against drivers who are habitual offenders and those who do not have respect for the law, so that they can be traced, suspended or be stripped of their driving permits for a designated period.

“The EAIC fully supports the enforcement of the law upon road users who have abused emergency lanes on highways and on main roads,” said Yaacob. He added that the irresponsible actions of those who abused the emergency lanes not only disrupts the passage of emergency responders’ vehicles, it also creates problems and complications for other law-abiding road users.