Much to mull over on proposal for automatic B licence

PUTRAJAYA: Age limit and the ownership period of B2 motorcycle licences are among the factors that need to be considered before the proposal to automatically upgrade to a B licence can be finalised, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Deputy Prime Minister said this matter would be finalised in detailed meetings with the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and the police's Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department (JSPT) soon.

"What we discussed earlier is that there is a certain age limit, meaning the applicant must be 35 years and above, and they must hold a B2 licence for a specific period before being eligible for a full B licence.

"We will finalise this in the meetings with JPJ and JSPT," he told a press conference after an engagement session with Persatuan Motosikal Malaysia here today.

The licence issue was raised by participants in the engagement session, which was also attended by Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, Bernama reported.

In August 2023, Ahmad Zahid had proposed the automatic upgrade of B2 driving licences (for motorcycles not exceeding 250cc) to a B licence (for motorcycles exceeding 500cc), which was to be brought to the Transport Ministry for further evaluation.

During the engagement session, Loke stated that the decision to upgrade to a B licence automatically is not straightforward because JSPT statistics show that the majority of road accidents involve individuals aged between 16 and 35.

"We look at the data, if those who have just obtained a B2 licence are given a B licence, they may act recklessly. If they are a bit older, they may be more experienced besides having responsibilities to their families and so on," he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid stated that the number of fatal accidents involving motorcyclists increased by 10% in 2023, with 4,480 cases, compared to 4,071 cases in 2022.

"What we have decided, based on the suggestions from the motorcycle association, is that when motorcycling events are held, they ask JPJ and Transport Ministry to engage with them and adopt some educational approaches," he said.

"This year, we are determined to conduct several programmes, including enforcement and education, and engagement with motorcycling associations to reduce the death rate by half by 2030," he said.

Additionally, Ahmad Zahid mentioned that the Cabinet had agreed to merge the Cabinet Committee on Traffic Congestion and the Cabinet Committee on Road Safety.

"At the high-Level committee meeting on Safety and Traffic Congestion this morning, we also decided to increase the frequency of meetings from once or twice a year to three times a year with the aim of obtaining the latest information on road safety and congestion issues," he said.
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