Just a few days ago, our Minister of Transport, Anthony Loke said that irresponsible drivers who cause death on our roads should be banned for life. Currently, the law only provides for a 3-year ban where these drivers will be reinstated after serving their “penalty”.
This came in light of the recent tragedy on the North-South Expressway when a trailer collided into three vehicles, severely damaging one and killing all five of its occupants – one of which was just a baby.
I like where this is going, provided that the Minister keeps to his word and his no-nonsense approach on penalising errant drivers and even holding these deadly lorry and trailer driver’s companies accountable as well.
But this still leaves room for a counterpoint and the way I see it, we need to take a few more steps back and begin with the revamp of our extremely outdated and hopeless driving schools.
For years, I’ve always stressed that driving schools are not doing enough – all they’re doing is teaching us HOW TO OPERATE A CAR, not how to properly drive one.
Cars are getting more powerful, our roads are getting more congested and factoring in the slippery conditions we’re subjected to after a heavy downpour, most Malaysians are just not well informed and equipped to handle adverse driving conditions…and that needs to stop.
Driving schools need to start teaching the new generation on how to “feel” the car, how to control it, how to gauge the speed of an on-coming vehicle (from the front or back) before overtaking, how to overtake on the highway, how to perform evasive maneuvers that could save their lives and the lives of others in an emergency situation and the list just goes on.
While it’s important for the education to begin from home or through the elders, driving schools also bear the pivotal role in cultivating discipline and competence behind the wheel, as they’re the “final filter” before these hooligans are release into the wild at a young age, developing bad habits along the way.
No one should have to suffer the pain of losing their loved ones from the inconsiderate driving of another – this madness needs to stop.