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Allow Auto Cars in Driving Tests is Still Underconsideration
10 February 2011 - It’s the year 2011, and yet the government is still discussing the same issue from one-and-a-half year ago. The Malaysian Road Transport Department (JPJ) has once again been reminded to provide the option of cars with automatic transmission for local driving tests.
Abu Bakar hopes that the JPJ can reduce red-tape and enhance efficiency to better cope with the everyday needs of Malaysians. “We have to be prepared to cope with new innovations and what’s in the market now”, he added.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said in order for the system to be implemented, the driving education co-curriculum, driving tests and classes would have to be amended.
Existing regulations, which stipulate that only manual transmission cars can be used to test learner drivers, must be amended in order to make the switch.
“The Motor Vehicle Regulations (Driving Licence) 1992 need to be amended to allow applicants to be issued with driving licences for automatic vehicles only,” he said.
He was responding to questions from Datuk Abdul Manan Ismail (BN-Paya Besar) and Matulidi Jusoh (BN-Dungun) in the Dewan Rakyat.The MPs contended that automatic cars were “women and elderly friendly”.
“If 50 percent of the cars sold in the country are cars with automatic transmission, such cars should be used during the tests”, Public Service Department Director-General Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Abdullah said to the press at the JPJ counters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. “We cannot force everyone to use the manual transmission cars”.
Indeed, the man is right on the money. A policy calling for automatic cars in driving tests was expected at the end of 2009 after the conclusion of a study on the matter by the relevant authorities. And yet, a lengthy one-and-a-half year wait later, the same issue is still being discussed?
How about the government be efficient and keep up with the times? Let’s shorten the decision-making process, forgo the study (which can be substituted by common sense), and just offer automatic cars as an option in driving tests now. Let’s not revisit this issue in mid-2012 again.