SEREMBAN: The Road Transport Department (JPJ) has its own ways to ensure motorists whose driving licences are suspended by the courts for serious traffic violations stay off the road, says Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
The Transport Minister said even if these motorists have renewed their licences for 10 years, the JPJ will know who the offenders were and they would be banned from driving as decided by the courts.
"The JPJ will know who these offenders are as most of the department’s applications have been digitalised.
"So, there is no such thing as motorists who have accumulated traffic summons for example, will be able to get away if he or she has renewed their licence for 10 years as allowed under a new policy from today.
"The JPJ has many methods to ensure those convicted (in courts) will not be allowed to drive,” he told reporters when met after renewing his driving licence for 10 years at the state JPJ office.
The JPJ, he said, does not need to say how this would be done as it has its own way of enforcing the law.
Loke was asked to comment on claims that the government's decision to allow motorists to renew their licence for up to 10 years will pose a challenge when it came to suspending those who run foul of the law or committed serious traffic offences.
He said the number of people who stand to benefit from the new 10-year policy was way higher than the number of serious traffic offenders.
"So, we cannot say we should not have a policy to allow motorists to renew their licence for up to 10 years just because there are some who commit serious traffic violations," he said.
Under a new policy announced last week, Malaysians can from Monday (May 8) renew their driving licence for up to a maximum of 10 years compared to the previous five-year limit.
Those who renew their driving licence for the maximum period of 10 years would be charged a special rate of RM270, which is an RM30 discount, as the fee is RM30 for each year.
Loke said the government decided to extend the maximum renewal period from five to 10 years following public feedback.
"In fact, I met many people at the Seremban JPJ this morning who had come to renew their licence for 10 years.
"This is a win-win situation as it’s revenue for the government and the people would not have to worry about renewing their licences for a few more years," he said.
Separately, Loke said motorists would also be able to renew their licence for up to 10 years at post offices nationwide soon.
Pos Malaysia, he said, would upgrade its system soon so that it can integrate with JPJ's.
Motorists can also renew their licences at JPJ kiosks or via the department's online system without having to be physically present.
"If they do so online, then they will get a digital version," he said.
Loke also said those whose driving licences have expired since 2018 will also be able to renew their licence for up to 10 years.
He said the government has decided to allow this as some Malaysians may have been unable to do so due to the Covid-19 pandemic or had been stranded abroad.
However, this flexibility will only be in force till December this year.
"This is also to encourage those with expired driving licences to renew them.
"I met one gentleman here this morning whose licence expired two years ago and he has come to renew it for 10 years," he said.
Under JPJ's rules, those who fail to renew their licence for a period of more than three years will have to re-apply for the licence.