Impose heavier penalty on unlicensed drivers, say lawyers

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers familiar with licensing related to vehicles and driving say that unlicensed motorists can cause serious issues and inconvenience to other road users, especially in traffic accidents.

Lawyer CV Devan said making claims with motor insurance companies when an accident involved an unlicensed motorist could be complicated and tedious.

“It is acceptable if the situation involves someone with an expired driving licence.

“However, when an unlicensed motorist is responsible for the accident, the insurance company will not entertain any claim by a third party.

“The aggrieved party may sue the unlicensed motorist for restitution but what if he or she does not have the means to pay the sum awarded by the court?” he said.

Devan said those who drive without a licence should be more severely dealt with by the law and not let off lightly with just a fine.

Another lawyer who did not want to be named said unlicensed motorists would not have undergone a driving test by the authorities, and thus their competency of operating a vehicle was questionable.

“Motor insurance companies will not undertake compensation for repairs on a damaged vehicle when an unlicensed motorist is involved in an accident.

“However, if injury or death occurs in traffic mishaps caused by unlicensed motorists, the law requires insurance companies to pay out compensation but the quantum could be drastically lower,” he said.

The lawyer said the authorities should send out a strong message by coming down hard on unlicensed motorists.

“Any motorist caught without a driving licence should be detained, charged in court and have severe punishment meted out on them.

“Letting them off with a summons is a mere slap on the wrist. The vehicle used should be impounded and its owner should also face stern action for allowing an unlicensed motorist to drive it,” he said.
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