The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has proposed that express bus companies reviewed their commission-driven mechanism for bus drivers.
Its chairman Syed Hamid Albar said bus drivers should be given higher basic salaries to prevent them risking fatigue and speeding in the pursuit of commission.
“When the basic salaries provided are insufficient, drivers are pushed to get more trips to increase their income.
“Thus bus operators should be encouraged to give higher salaries to their drivers,” he told reporters after launching the Garage Giveaway Programme in aid of Rohingyas, here today.
Syed Hamid said even though the proposal was not a total solution for express bus safety issues, it was believed a large portion of the solution was to prevent fatigue of drivers on duty.
Therefore, Syed Hamid said the bus companies or operators should be allowed to charge flexible fare so that they were able to pay higher salaries to their drivers.
In this regard, Syed Hamid told members of the public not to point their fingers at the commission whenever there was an accident involving public and heavy vehicles.
“Those who do not understand the law, please read the traffic ordinance as SPAD only issues the licence (for bus operators), others (on speeding and drivers) is under the purview of the Road Transport Department (RTD) and traffic police. We (SPAD) have no powers to check drivers and control speed limit offences.
“We can suspend their licence in cases involving an express bus until we are satisfied as it is within our jurisdiction,” he said.
He said all related agencies needed to sit down to discuss introducing new laws or implement measures to improve bus service.
“At SPAD, we are interested with the proposal to install seat belts in express buses, it should be discussed together,” he said.
He said the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) for example should submit their investigation findings on accident cases so that the government could act to prevent such incidents from recurring.
In the latest incident involving an express bus, 14 people were killed while 16 were injured when a bus plunged into a 10-metre deep ravine at KM137.3 of the North-South Expressway on Kampung Jayor, Muar, Johor on Saturday. — Bernama