Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Major checks on express buses in Sabah
Flying Squad to team up with Institute, Council


The Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board’s (CVLB) Flying Squad will be teaming up with officers from the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety and Road Safety Council to effectively carry out spot checks on express buses throughout the country. Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Noh Omar in announcing this yesterday, said the CVLB, which comes under his Ministry, would be conducting major checks on express buses throughout the country, including in Sabah to ensure they comply with the Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) regulations. “There have been so many tragedies involving express buses and the number of fatalities is high. This has given this mode of public transportation a very bad image and everyone is now worried about travelling via buses. “This is part of our preventive measures to avoid more unwanted incidents and to protect the safety of the passengers,” said Noh after meeting with officers from agencies under his Ministry here yesterday. Speaking at a press conference, he said that among the important things to be checked is the compliance of bus companies with the eight-hour limit regulation. He explained each bus driver is only allowed to drive for eight hours a day. Buses for destinations that take more than eight hours such as Kota Kinabalu-Tawau, must have two drivers. The eight-hour regulation also states that there must be a break for every four hours of driving. “This applies to all areas — Peninsular as well as Sabah and Sarawak,” he said, adding, the main target for the operation are big companies which have a lot of bus permits. He said action could be taken against companies found neglecting the SHE, including suspension of their permits. On another development, he said the Ministry would be studying if there is a need to reintroduce the issuance of Class F Contractor license to small contractors which have been temporarily frozen. “We will see if there is a need for more small contractors in the market. If yes, we may review the existing inactive Class F license and open it to new applicants” he said. According to Noh, the latest figure shows there are some 31,000 Class F license holders throughout the country but only around 17,000 of them are really active. Of this figure, 2,450 are in Sabah. In his dialogue with the officers of the Ministry’s agencies earlier, Noh stressed on improving the Ministry’s delivery system by enhancing communication and cooperation between agencies at the grassroots level and between the Ministry and the target groups.