(File pix) As safety is of utmost priority, SPAD, with the police and the Road Transport Department, will also screen drivers to check for any disciplinary violations.

KUALA LUMPUR: The approval of the Land Public Transport (Amendment) Bill 2017 has allowed the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to regulate e-hailing services.

This includes intermediation of business licences where e-hailing operators must obtain such licences from SPAD before legally operating.

Under this, SPAD will be overseeing the renewal of license, revocation or suspension of licence and prohibition of transfer of licence, among others.

The Act will also allow SPAD to prescribe form and content of any hire-purchase arrangement or agreement between the licenced operators and their drivers.

As safety is of utmost priority, SPAD, with the police and the Road Transport Department (RTD), will also screen drivers to check for any disciplinary violations.

SPAD Chief Executive Officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah said if the driver has multiple records of speeding, it shows his behaviour as a road user and that could affect their licences.

"An SOS button will also be made mandatory in cases of emergency, for both drivers and passengers," he told a press conference today.

Passengers and general public can now lodge reports, complaints or give feedbacks to SPAD, he added.

A driver must also own a digital Driver's Card which will contain his details.

"We have asked service providers to process their drivers' data which we will submit to the police. Once the Bill has been gazetted, the data will go on their Driver's Card," Azharuddin said.

To obtain this card, the driver ,ust own a competent driver's licence (CDL); attend customer service-oriented training; pass a health screening; has no criminal record, summons or compound.

Drivers are also required to send their vehicles for annual Puspakom inspection after three years from the date of registration with RTD.

Describing the decision to amend as "monumental" on the government's part, Mohd Azharuddin said the Bill is expected to be gazetted in October this year.

Taxi drivers were not left out in the amendment of the Bill, where Azharuddin said they will have the option of charging estimated fares similar to e-hailing, apart from the traditional meter system.

"Taxis' Puspakom inspection is reduced from twice a year to once a year after three years from the date of registration with RTD," Azharuddin said.

The Land Public Transport (Amendment) Bill 2017 was passed in the Dewan Rakyat on July 27.