I READ that Terengganu Road Transport Department (RTD) officers will ride undercover on express buses ferrying passengers celebrating the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivities.
Terengganu RTD director Zulkarnain Yasin reportedly said that his officers will take immediate action if drivers commit offences such as cutting lanes, using a mobile phone while driving or exceeding the speed limit.
But why wait for drivers to commit an offence instead of deterring them? Because waiting till they actually break the law may be too late, as an accident could occur involving not just the unfortunate bus passengers but also other road users.
The most effective and efficient way to monitor driving behaviour is through greater use of technology.
A variety of telematics devices are available in the market with different functions and prices, and all of them work like magic on drivers. This is because it is human nature to put on our best behaviour if our actions are being recorded. No amount of training or penalties work, and there is no better example of this than enforcement officers on the take.
(Telematics and tracking devices use the latest cellular technology to monitor and provide data on cargo, vehicles and drivers.)
Apart from front and rear-facing cameras, driver-facing cameras installed inside the cabin can capture drivers breaking rules, and the more high-tech ones can detect drowsiness and raise the alarm.
In February last year, then transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai deployed 1,500 RTD officers from Feb 9 to Feb 23. Despite the effort, the number of road accidents did not fall – because dishing out more of the same produces the same dismal result.