KUALA LUMPUR: From next year, motorists who display courtesy and discipline on the roads could be rewarded for their good behaviour with petrol and toll rebates.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the idea was put forward by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) to him on Thursday.
The suggestion, he said, was a welcome one. He expressed his ministry’s commitment to consider it as part of the efforts to create courteous motorists, which would in turn tackle the issue of safety and fatalities on Malaysian roads.
Speaking at a press conference at the launch of the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show 2018 (KLIMS ‘18) at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), he said the ministry is ready to work with anyone to increase the level of road safety awareness.
“While touring the exhibition earlier, a Petronas representative told me about the idea of having a rewards programme for courteous motorists.
“Part of the concept will be implemented next year,” he said.
Also present at the launch was Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad.
Loke said he believed that the ‘carrot and stick’ approach remains the most effective in order to educate people into becoming courteous motorists.
“We need to give a reward as a motivation to compel motorists to change their attitude and become courteous and law-abiding when on the road.
“At the same time, if they refuse to change, we have to punish them,” he said.
Commenting further, Loke said he was made to understand that Petronas is developing an application which can gauge motorists’ attitude.
“When the application is started, it can assess whether the motorist is driving properly or otherwise.
“For example, if one reaches a certain score within a month, then they qualify for petrol and toll rebates.
“This is the ‘carrot’ to entice people to behave better on the roads. I’m confident that it will be well-received among Malaysians,” he said.
In September, Loke was quoted as saying that the government is considering offering discounts for vehicle insurance to courteous drivers from next year, and that it would begin talks with the Malaysian Automotive Insurance Association (PIAM).
Discounts, he had said, could be given to motorists who go through a whole year without breaking any traffic laws.
Meanwhile, Loke praised the KLIMS ‘18 organisers for providing an opportunity to the public, especially automobile lovers, to view the latest collection of cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles. Visitors, he said, also have the opportunity to view the latest technology and trends in the automotive industry, including safety aspects.
Loke, in his speech at the launch, said the number of vehicles in Malaysia is expected to rise to 31 million by 2030. The government, he said, is making preparations to face this including on issues pertaining to safety and pollution.
“The number of vehicles continue to rise due to the public’s need to have their own vehicles.
“The government encourages the use of public transportation, but it is not our policy to prevent car ownership,” he said.