SHAH ALAM: The training given to commercial vehicle drivers by driving schools is just not good enough.
Experts at the Malaysian Institute of Transport (Mitrans) said yesterday the curriculum failed to place enough emphasis on road safety.
Some schools do not even have qualified trainers. For instance, the drivers are not taught the importance of applying the right driving techniques to suit the different road textures, or the effect of load on the balance of the lorry, said Mitrans associate fellow Prof S. Navaratnam.
Their concern is to make sure the potential drivers know enough to pass the exams. But having a licence does not automatically make one a careful driver on the road, he said.
Drivers of commercial vehicles must be trained to take road safety issues seriously because safety-conscious drivers would help reduce accidents, he said.
Prof Navaratnam said Mitrans had a group of qualified trainers who could be used by driving schools or transportation companies to train target groups on better driving skills.
Mitrans was established in 1982 to carry out research, consultancy and training in the transport field.
The institute is part of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), the only Malaysian institution of higher learning offering comprehensive transport-related studies and training programmes.
Mitrans advisory council chairman Datuk Seri Prof Dr Ibrahim Abu Shah, who also the universitys vice-chancellor, said the institute would recommend to the Government on the need to refine the curriculum used to train potential drivers of commercial vehicles.
Maybe there is a need to ensure the trainers go for courses to upgrade their skills, or even the need to make sure the curriculum dwells more on road safety measures, he said after the signing ceremony to mark a memorandum of understanding between UiTM and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).
CILT, based in Britain, has appointed UiTM as the examining body for its examinations in Asia-Pacific and Africa.
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