The transport ministry is planning to introduce an automated system for driving tests, one that will see learner drivers taking their on-road practical test on a circuit without an examiner sitting next to them. L-drivers will instead be monitored – and their driving skills evaluated – remotely from a control room via multiple cameras on the circuit.

This automated process, which seeks to minimise human intervention and eradicate the kopi-o licence culture as well as pakej sampai lulus or ‘guaranteed to pass’ packages, could be introduced from as early as next year, The Star reports.

Transport minister Anthony Loke said the ministry was looking at working towards full automation for road tests. He said that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will roll out the automated system in stages, starting in a few months.

He added that the ministry wants driving institutes to install dashboard cameras in all their test cars so that there will be proof of record of a driver’s skills. “Should an applicant fail and he believes it was because he did not pay duit kopi (under-the-counter bribe), he can appeal with evidence from the dashboard cameras,” he told reporters.

Loke also said that the government is looking into the matter of overcharging of learning packages by driving institutes. He said that the cost of packages offered by driving schools were often far more expensive than the stipulated cost.

He said that according to that defined by the JPJ, a B2 motorcycle licence should cost RM350, while a D manual car licence is priced at RM1,150 and an DA automatic car licence is supposed to go for RM1,250. He however observed that some driving schools collected up to RM2,200 per applicant, allegedly to ensure that the entire process of obtaining a licence progressed without a hitch.

“Institutes can offer additional services – for example, transport to and from the institute – but these must be optional and clearly stated in an itemised bill to licence applicants. There must be no more hidden costs or I will cancel their (driving school) licences,” he stated.