KUALA LUMPUR: More than 5,000 express buses will be on the highways during the Hari Raya period to cater to the balik kampung crowd.
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has approved an extra 93 express buses for this holiday season.
“All the express buses have been thoroughly inspected. And we have also informed bus operators on our expectations of them during this travel period.
“More than 380 SPAD officers will also conduct enforcement activities during this period including going undercover to ensure bus drivers adhere to the regulations,” SPAD chief executive officer Azharuddin Mat Sah told a press conference yesterday.
On concerns that some old buses might be used, Azharuddin said none of the approved vehicles were over 10 years old as per the regulations.
He also noted that the additional bus drivers engaged by operators to handle the extra services were required to undergo stringent checks as well.
“Since June 12, we have been running an intensive enforcement exercise with police, Road Safety Department, Road Transport Department and highway enforcement agencies.
“There will be 24-hour beats from June 22 to 27, and June 30 to July 2, when public transport movement is expected to be at its highest,” he said.
To catch errant operators and drivers, there would be special enforcement audits to examine GPS vehicle records, patrolling in high risk locations, speed traps and CCTV surveillance on highways.
Azharuddin noted that similar efforts made during the Chinese New Year period this year led to a drop in the number of complaints received from passengers.
“We had 41 complaints this year compared to 70 during the same period in 2016.
“This year’s Chinese New Year operations led to 127 offences recorded, compared to 248 last year, with only one accident involving minor injuries,” he said.
Azharuddin also warned errant bus operators and drivers that stern action would be taken against them including the risk of having their licences suspended or revoked.
In more serious cases, he said, a bus company could have its entire fleet suspended pending a safety audit.