PETALING JAYA: From June 1, all drivers of commercial vehicles are required to have a certificate of competency to go on the road.
The move is in response to the increasing number of accidents involving heavy vehicles, mainly lorries and stage buses. Malaysia recorded more than 6,000 road fatalities last year.
Road Transport Department director-general Datuk Emran Kadir said the Government had decided to make it mandatory for all commercial vehicle drivers to have the certificate before they could be granted a licence.
“JPJ will only issue the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence and Goods Driving Licence (GDL) to applicants who have passed the competency test,” he said.
This means existing drivers will also have to pass the test to get their licences renewed.
The Government has ap-pointed Automotive Centre of Excellence Sdn Bhd (ACE) to conduct training and tests for those seeking vocational licen-ces to drive commercial vehicles.
All state JPJ offices were informed of the new ruling via a letter dated April 23, this year.
Emran said ACE would initially be handling applicants from Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Negri Sembilan.
The applicants will undergo their training and tests at the ACE training centre at Bukit Changgang in Kuala Langat.
The RM100mil facility has the capacity to handle training for up to 100,000 commercial vehicle drivers a year.
“With the ruling, from June 1, the JPJ offices in the affected states will no longer conduct tests for commercial vehicle licences (PSV and GDL).
“Applicants will have to bring the certificate of competency issued by ACE to the JPJ, for their licences to be issued,” he added.
Emran said that from June 1, the driving institutes in the affected states would only undertake training of, and hold tests for, candidates for conductor's licences, as well as those for Goods Driving Licences (GDL), and motorcycles for tradesmen and three-wheeled motorcycles.
“As a result of the new ruling, driving institutes must complete all applications and bookings for training and tests for commercial vehicle licences before June 1.
“Driving institutes should also inform applicants of the new ruling and make the necessary adjustments to their training schedule and test dates with their respective state JPJ offices so that they can complete the applications for PSV and GLD licences before June 1,” he added.
Emran said ACE would expand its operations nationwide in stages and would also be building training facilities in Penang, Johor, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak.
“JPJ will inform the public when the new programme is implemented in the other states.
“If driving institutes have any queries on the new regulations for training, they can contact JPJ’s licensing unit,” he added.
Emran said ACE would educate and train commercial vehicle drivers on the finer points of road safety and efficient driving based on best practices in Australia.