Eyes on errant motorists

Worrying menace: The Star’s frontpage story on the issue that appeared on Dec 4.

PETALING JAYA: Bukit Aman will soon embark on a special operation across the country to weed out motorists without a driving licence.

“Almost every day we come across motorists without a licence when we carry out our enforcement duties,” said Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director Comm Datuk Mohd Azman Ahmad Sapri.

“Motorcyclists are the biggest offenders, followed by drivers of cars and commercial vehicles,” he told The Star.

The Star ran a frontpage story on Dec 4 titled Illegal driving gaining speed which, among others, reported that the 23,000 motorists caught driving illegally recently was just a tip of the iceberg.

Legal experts have warned about the tedious and complicated process in making claims with motor insurance companies for accidents that involve unlicensed drivers.

The reports were in reference to a nationwide 14-day operation carried out by the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

Comm Mohd Azman, when contacted, said traffic police found that a majority of the “thousands of unlicensed motorists” were motorcyclists.

“Car drivers are the second highest for being without a licence.”

To a question, he agreed that the number of those driving or riding without a licence is much higher than the figures detected recently by the JPJ during its nationwide operation.

JPJ had issued 23,748 summonses to road users for not possessing a driving licence after an inspection of 554,372 vehicles that ended on Nov 24.

Most of the offenders were aged between 15 and 35.

Meanwhile, the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (Piam) said motorists who have a valid driving licence but do not have it at hand when an accident happens could still make general insurance claims.

It said motorists entangled in such situations were eligible for the claims with the condition that they possessed a valid licence in the first place and were not disqualified from holding the said document.

“Insurance claims are, however, not payable to those who do not own a driving licence in the event of an accident,” it said, adding that claims were also not payable to those whose licences were revoked or suspended by the courts.

The association also explained how motorists whose licences have expired or yet to be renewed can make claims if they get into accidents.

“This is provided that the motorist is not disqualified from holding or obtaining any licence under any written law, as per the motor policy wording under general exceptions or exclusions,” it said in a statement to The Star.

It also encouraged those involved in accidents to submit claims to their subscribed insurers for a speedier claims process.

Piam added that there were two ways third-party claims for accidents could be submitted.

“They can either be submitted directly to the insurance company of the party at fault or to their own insurers, if they have comprehensive policy coverage.”

It said the driver could make a third-party claim if he was not the one at fault in the accident.

This also means the motorist could retain his No-Claim Discount (NCD) entitlement.

The NCD is a “reward” scheme for users if no claim was made on their insurance policy on an annual basis. Different NCD rates are applicable for different classes of vehicles, added Piam.

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