GEORGE TOWN: Harsher penalties are needed against vehicle owners who allow unlicensed individuals to use their vehicles, says the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP).
Its education officer N.V. Subbarow said it was shocking to learn that 55,000 vehicle owners have allowed unlicensed individuals to drive their vehicles on the road.
"This is dangerous. We urge the authorities to revoke the driving licences of these vehicle owners as well as not allow them to renew their road tax for a year.
"The parents should be produced in court as we need strict law on this.
"This will teach other vehicle owners a lesson," he said in a statement on Sunday (June 26).
Subbarow said the longer the delay in taking action, the higher chances that the number of unlicensed individuals would rise and accident rates could go up.
"We urge the authorities not to compromise with these vehicle owners as they are a cause of road accidents," he said.
On Saturday (June 25), the Road Transport Department (JPJ) said that a total of 55,000 vehicle owners were found to have allowed unlicensed individuals to drive their vehicles from January to May this year.
JPJ deputy director-general (planning and operations) Aedly Fadly Ramli said most offences involved family members, particularly parents who allowed their children, including minors, to drive their vehicles.
"According to JPJ's latest observations and analysis, there has been no significant change in attitude and responsibility among vehicle owners on the matter in the last four years," he said.
It was reported that a total of 347,300 offences were also committed by those driving vehicles without a licence from January 2019 to May this year.
Aedly Fadly urged the public to take the matter seriously as those who committed the offence can be prosecuted under Section 26(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, which provides for a fine not exceeding RM3,000 or imprisonment of up to three months or both.
"Besides that, JPJ can also seize their vehicles under Section 64(1) of the same Act," he said.