PETALING JAYA: Road safety experts have lauded the Road Transport Department (RTD) decision to revoke the licences of those who fail to renew them by the end of the month, and get them to retake driving tests.

Universiti Putra Malaysia Road Safety Research Centre head Assoc Prof Dr Law Teik Hua said driving with an expired licence is against the law and highly dangerous as it may put other road users in peril, especially when accidents occur.

Law said the public may rush to renew licences as the deadline approaches and suggested a few options for people to get it done and avoid the consequences announced by RTD.

“I agree with the RTD decision because active drivers’ information is required for the formulation of traffic and road-user policy regulations as well as road development plans and funding allocations.

“This is important in terms of enforcement. This is to make it easier for traffic police or RTD to spot repeat and serious traffic violators whose licences had been revoked.

“The public can renew their licences at post offices or RTD offices, or through the MyEG website. It can also be renewed at RTD offices at Urban Transformation Centres, which are also open on weekends.”

Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research chairman Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon said a driving licence is an indication of competency.

He added that having a driving expert in the passenger seat does not guarantee anyone’s safety because accidents frequently occur unexpectedly and a tragedy can never be undone.

“Those using public roads are exposed to risks. To ensure public safety, drivers have to prove that they are competent enough. So, a valid licence is indeed essential.

“You need a licence to prove your vehicle-handling abilities while on the road. You may have the confidence that you can drive without a licence. But when bad things happen, there’s no turning back.

“It’s not that people voluntarily put themselves in dangerous situations. Crashes happen unexpectedly.

“It’s very important to understand that insurance is designed in such a way that when accidents occur, insurance has to cover you and also other parties involved.”

Consumers Association of Penang education officer N.V. Subbarow told theSun that revoking licences would undoubtedly result in a positive change among road users, as the RTD measure is intended to teach irresponsible road users a lesson.

He said RTD should also revoke the licences of people who intentionally violate traffic laws.

“The authorities should revoke the driving licences of road users who drink and drive, overspeed as well as those who have dozens of unpaid summonses.”