MALAYSIA ROAD TRANSPORT ACT 1987




Introduction

Are you aware of the Malaysia Road Transport Act 1987 especially if you are a tertiary student that drives to your institution or intends to be driving to your institution? Do you know how it is relevant to tertiary students in Malaysia? Are you aware of its provisions and the consequences for violating the Act?

The Malaysia Road Transport Act 1987 discussed below incorporates the latest 2010 amendments and considers the classification of motor vehicles, important provisions and implications of the Act to tertiary students. If you are an international student you will find this information useful if you intend to drive around Malaysia safely.


Classification of motor vehicles under the Road Transport Act 1987

The Malaysia Road Transport Act 1987 (section 5) includes the following classifications of motor vehicles:

  • Invalid carriages – unladen vehicle weight not exceeding 250 kilograms and specially made for use by persons with disability.
  • Motor cycles – unladen vehicle less than 4 wheels with weight not exceeding 450 kilograms
  • Heavy tractors – unladen vehicle weight exceeding 5000 kilograms used specifically to carry water, fuel, accumulators and other materials and equipment used for purposes of propulsion loose tools and equipments
  • Light tractors – unladen vehicle weight not exceeding 5000 kilograms used for purposes other than heavy tractors
  • Heavy motor cars – unladen vehicle weight exceeding 3000 kilograms used to carry passengers and load
  • Motor cars – unladen vehicle weight not exceeding 3000 kilograms, not classified as motor cycles and used to carry passengers and load
  • Heavy mobile machinery – unladen vehicle weight exceeding 5000 kilograms, self-propelled and self-contained machines.
  • Light mobile machinery – unladen vehicle weight not exceeding 5000 kilograms used for purposes other than heavy mobile machinery.
  • Pedestrian controlled vehicles – motor vehicles used to carry passengers and load whose driver is not mounted or seated on such vehicle
  • Trolley vehicles – vehicles driven by overhead cables or powered on rails
  • Trailers – vehicles other than land implements drawn by a motor vehicle whether or not such vehicle is superimposed on the drawing vehicle.   


Provisions of Road Transport Act 1987 relevant to tertiary students

The following provisions in the Road Transport Act 1987 important to tertiary students in Malaysia includes:

1. Any person using or possessing a vehicle that is not registered is guilty of an offence under this Act. Exemptions exist such as when an unregistered vehicle is driven to or from a place where an inspection officer requested a vehicle to be brought for inspection and testing (Section 7 subsection 1).

Punishment: A fine not less than two (2) thousand ringgit and not more than  ten (10) thousand ringgit (Section 7 subsection 3; 2010 amended s. 5).


2. Any person is allowed to propose a car registration number subject to approval of the car registrar (section 11a).


3. A motor vehicle may be inspected and if necessary weighed and measured for compliance before registration. A failure to provide all required information is a violation of this Act (section 12).


 4. Any person that manufactures, produces, distributes, sells or affixes an unauthorized car registration number is guilty of an offence under the Road Transport Act 1987 (2010 amendment s. 8).

Punishment: A fine not less than twenty (20) thousand ringgit and not more           than fifty (50) thousand ringgit or imprisonment for a term of not less than one (1) year and not more than three (3) years or both (2010 amendment s. 8).


5. Car registration numbers displayed or illuminated in a way that may confuse, deceive or make it difficult to read or distinguish the number when the vehicle is in motion is a violation of this Act (section 14).

Punishment: The driver or person in charge of the vehicle while it is being used is to be fined with an amount not exceeding three (3) thousand ringgit (2010 amendment s. 9).


6. Any person using, causing to be used or permitting a motor vehicle to be used, except where the vehicle has been laid up (declared in an appropriate form to the license registrar that the car has ceased to be used on the road) without a motor vehicle license violates this Act and guilty of an offence (section 15).

Punishment: A fine not exceeding two (2) thousand ringgit (section 23).


7. All motor vehicle license must be affixed and exhibited on the vehicle in the prescribed manner otherwise a violation of this Act has been committed and the accused guilty of an offence (section 20).


8. Any person that drives employs or permits another person to drive a motor vehicle of any class or description without a valid driving license authorizing him to drive that class or description of vehicle is guilty of an offence under the Road Transport Act 1987 (section 26 subsection 1).

Punishment: A fine not exceeding one (1) thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three (3) months or to both (section 26 subsection 2).


9. Any driving license issued in any country with a treaty with Malaysia that recognizes domestic driving licenses shall be deemed to be a driving license granted under this Act so far as the domestic license is in force in that country (section 28).


10. Any person convicted of any criminal proceedings in connection with driving motor vehicles may have his/her driving license disqualified and the disqualification endorsed on the driving license for life or for a specified period and a person driving with a disqualified driving license or applying for and obtaining another driving license during the period of disqualification is guilty of an offence under this Act (section 31).

Punishment: Imprisonment for a term not exceeding one (1) year or a fine not exceeding five (5) thousand ringgit (section 32 subsection 3).


11. No person under sixteen (16) years is allowed to drive a motor vehicle on a road and no person under seventeen (17) years is allowed to drive a motor vehicle other than a motor cycle or an invalid carriage on a road otherwise this Act is violated (section 39)

Punishment: A fine not exceeding two (2) thousand ringgit or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months or both (section 39 subsection 5).


12. Any person driving a motor vehicle and exceeding any speed limit imposed for that vehicle under the Road Transport Act 1987 is guilty of an offence (section 40)

Punishment: A fine not exceeding one (1) thousand ringgit (section 40 subsection 1).


13. Any person causing death by reckless or dangerous driving violates this Act and is guilty of an offence (section 41)

Punishment: Imprisonment for a term not less than two (2) years and not more than ten (10) years and to a fine of not less than five (5) thousand ringgit and not more than twenty (20) thousand ringgit (section 41 subsection 1).

Where the death is caused by driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs the imprisonment is for a term not less than three (3) years and not more than ten (10) years and to a fine of not less than eight (8) thousand ringgit and not more than twenty (20) thousand ringgit (section 41 subsection 1).


14. It is an offence under the Road Transport Act 1987 to cause or permit a motor vehicle to remain at rest on any road in a way, condition or circumstances likely to cause danger, obstruction or undue inconvenience to other road users (section 48).

Punishment: A fine not less than one (1) thousand ringgit and not more than five (5) thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term of not less than one (1) year or both (2010 amendment s. 21a).


15. It is not lawful under this Act to carry more than one person on any two wheeled motorcycle or carry one person otherwise than sitting astride the motor cycle in a secure seat fitted to the motor cycle (section 49).


16. It is not lawful under this Act to without reasonable cause or lawful authority take or retain hold of a vehicle in motion for the purpose of being drawn or carried, or release or tamper with any of car mechanism or take a motor vehicle without the consent of the registered owner otherwise an offence have been committed (section 50 and 51).


17. Any person driving on the road is required to stop on demand by a police officer in uniform, traffic warden in uniform or road transport officer in uniform otherwise shall be guilty of an offence (section 55).


18. It is not an offence under this Act if any person refuses to act on instructions of a police officer, road traffic warden or officer not in uniform if he refuses to declare his office and produce identification document on demand by such person (section 123 subsection 2).


19. Irrespective of the provisions of this Act, the Minister can make additional provisions (section 129).


Implications for tertiary students in Malaysia

  • Students should ensure that any vehicle they intend to drive should have been duly registered and the motor vehicle license properly displayed on the vehicle as failure to confirm this can result in heavy fines.
  • Students should avoid additional letters, ornaments, designs, fixtures or any other additions to their car registration numbers as the onus lies with the defendant (you) to prove that your car registration number was not likely or intended to be confused or was unable to be read while the car is in motion.
  • International students should confirm with the Road Transport department that the driving license from their countries is allowed to be used in Malaysia.
  • Tertiary students interested in obtaining a valid driving license must apply for learners driving license for the purpose of learning how to drive, pass all prescribed test of competence, thereafter obtain a probationary driving license (usually for two years) and may thereafter apply for a driving license (provided no outstanding issues exist with the police or Road transport department) under the class and description of car desired. Car driving centers do assist with these processes.
  • Students should ensure that they are of legal age to derive in Malaysia before attempting to do so.
  • Students should always ensure compliance to speed limits on any road to avoid heavy fines.
  • Students must avoid driving when alcohol has been consumed or consuming alcohol while driving.  
  • Students should avoid holding on or jumping onto vehicles while in motion.
  • Students should stop on demand by officers in uniform while on the road.
  • At all times if possible get an attorney (lawyer) when having any issue with law enforcement.


Conclusion

The Malaysian Road Transport Act 1987 provides information on what is considered appropriate and inappropriate actions relating to the vehicle and the driver. No punishment on conviction is less than a year jail sentence with or without heavy fines. Tertiary students should avoid situations, circumstances and conditions that constitute an offence under this Act.


References

Malaysia Road Transport Act 1987 (incorporating 2006 Amendments).

Road Transport (Amendment) Act 2010.



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