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An appeal procedure for commercial vehicle inspection is needed and re-think of frequency of scheduled inspection in PUSPAKOM

I bought a second-hand small truck just before MCO for my own business purpose. In this turbulent challenging time, I have to send the vehicle to Puspakom for a scheduled roadworthiness test every six months.

During the inspection process I found a few areas that need improvement from Puspakom and the Ministry of Transport to make roadworthiness inspection a standard well-accepted by all stakeholders, especially the vehicle owners.

I personally sent my small truck to Puspakom for three scheduled inspections without engaging agent or middle-man service, all inspections failed in the first attempt and a second inspection is always needed. While the first attempt by engaging agent service all passed with flying colors. Ironically I always use the same workshop for tuning service, yet the inspection outcome is totally different with self-service and agent service.

We, vehicle owners, are not allowed to enter the inspection zone to observe technicians to perform inspection processes. Human error or manipulation can happen during the inspection processes such as the hand brake is not fully pulled or the brake is not fully pressed by the technician.

Even though I have doubts about the inspection result, there is no way for me to ask for a second check by a third party inspector to verify the result. Puspakom may argue that their technicians are properly trained and certified, but human error cannot be eliminated 100% for some tests involving manual processes like pulling the hand brake or pressing the brake.

Any inspection result must be repeatable within an accepted range of error at the same inspection site or different site, otherwise the inspection result is considered faulty or not reliable.

Sadly to say that we vehicle owners have no avenues to challenge the inspection result and have to swallow the result reluctantly. Therefore I suggest an appeal procedure is added to reduce human error like in our public examination system.

How can it be done?

The owner can file an appeal for re-inspection on the same day if there is a third party inspector from JPJ or any accreditation bodies like SGS is available in the same location or city. If no third party inspector is available, the vehicle is sealed off at JPJ compound for a third party inspection at a later date. During re-inspection by a third party inspector, Puspakom technician and vehicle owner shall be allowed to observe the re-inspection process.

With the appeal procedure in place, I believe it can reduce human error and bribery issues if any drastically.

I urge the Transport Minister to look into the appeal procedure proposal diligently to eliminate human error caused by many factors.

Beside the above mentioned proposal, I also would like to urge the Transport Minister to re-think the frequency of scheduled inspection in every six months. During my classroom session for GDL licensing requirements, the instructor presented data saying 90% of road accidents are due to driver carelessness and 10% only due to mechanical failure. The Ministry of Transport shall tackle the root cause of road accidents by focussing on driving safety awareness, techniques and enforcement. Truck overloaded is believed to be a major cause of road accidents instead of malfunctioning brakes.

Instead of checking vehicle worthiness every six months, the driver may be given an option or make it compulsory to attend a 2 to 4-hour driving safety course to replace a single scheduled roadworthiness inspection in a year.

The frequency for scheduled inspection for less than five tonnage trucks shall be reduced to once for every year based on hard data in pointing out mechanical failure is not the major cause of road accidents in Malaysia. This proposal can reduce the burden of SMIs by cutting down business costs.