by Choo Dee Wei
Published November 6, 2015
Julia was excited. After all it was her first time. She read so much about it and she was now going to experience it herself. She waited in trepidation for the day to arrive. At long last, it did.
Her newly purchased car was delivered. The salesperson briefed her about the car but she was too excited to listen. “How hard can it be to manage a car?” she thought to herself. After all she did have a valid driving licence.
After the salesperson left, Julia slowly opened the door and got in. She took a whiff of the smell of a brand new car before slowly igniting the engine. The car purred to life.
Fast forward a few months. It’s a Friday night and we find Julia pulled over the side of a road by two policemen. She was informed that she had driven through a cross junction despite being directed by a police officer to stop in order to facilitate traffic. She argued that the traffic light was green. Nevertheless she was issued with a RM 300.00 summons.
Dissatisfied, Julia decided to read up on the Road Transport Act of 1987. In her reading, she discovered aspects about the Act which she did not know. “Oh wow. I now know something new” she said out loud to no one in particular. She took out a pen and jotted down her new found knowledge.
Although there are traffic signs lawfully placed, if there is a police officer or road transport officer or traffic warden, in uniform, their directions take priority;
Usage of hand-held telephone or any other communication equipment is not allowed by drivers while driving on a road except through use of a hand-free kit. If convicted, the driver is looking at a fine of not more than RM 1,000.00 or imprisonment of not more than 3 months;
Those who are below 16 years of age are not allowed to drive a motor vehicle on a road. If a person is between 16 years old to 17 years old, that teenager can ride a motor cycle;
If a person drives a motor vehicle on a road recklessly or at a speed or in a way that is dangerous to the public, the person can be convicted and punished with jail of not more than 5 years and to a fine of between RM 5,0000.00 to RM 15,000.00. Not only that, if convicted, particulars of that conviction will be endorsed on the driving licence;
If a person drives a motor vehicle on a road recklessly or at a speed or in a way that is dangerous to the public and causes death of any body, the person can be convicted and punished with jail between 2 to 10 years and to a fine of between RM 5,0000.00 to RM 20,000.00. If convicted, particulars of that conviction will be endorsed on the driving licence;
A person who, when driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, has so much alcohol in his body that the proportion of it exceeds the prescribed limit, may be convicted and punished with a fine between RM 1,000.00 to RM 6,000.00 and imprisonment of not more than 12 months; and
A driver of a motor vehicle who lets such motor vehicle remain at rest on any road which is likely to cause danger or obstruction to other road users may be convicted and punished with to a fine of not less RM 1,000.00 or jail of not less than 1 year or both.
To quote Julia, “Oh wow. I now know something new”.