The Land Public Transport (Amendment) Act 2017, which will regulate ride-hailing services such as Uber and GrabCar, is expected to be gazetted in October, according to Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) CEO Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah.

The amendments will bring about a number of new regulations and requirements, including the need for ride-hailing drivers to be screened by authorities. Since June 16, SPAD says it has been checking drivers’ backgrounds to ensure they have a good record. Drivers are also set to undergo training as part of the compliance.

Another of the measures being considered to ensure user safety is the making of a driver’s ride-hailing background accessible to users via a ‘meter-on’ application, Bernama reports. This will allows passengers the ability to access a driver’s details as an additional security measure, Mohd Azharuddin said.

“For the time being, the meter-on application only provides cab driver data, and we will consider it in the future,” he said. He added that SPAD will ensure that ride-hailing services implement the use panic or emergency (SOS) buttons to ensure the safety of users. Last week, Grab announced this as part of new initiatives introduced to improve safety of both passengers and drivers.

He also said that ride-hailing service drivers stand to make better profits as a result of legalisation, adding that they will only need to send in their vehicle for a Puspakom check once a year compared to twice a year following three years of being registered with the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

Drivers are also set to be better protected – it was earlier reported that the amendments will also make it an offence for any person to assault, hinder or obstruct those involved in the business of ride-hailing services. Those committing such an offence will be liable to a fine of RM1,000, imprisonment not exceeding three months or both, upon conviction.