KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 22, 2009) : The age limit of school buses has been extended from 20 years to 30 effective next year.
In announcing the decision, Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) chairman Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique said today the 10 year extension was to enable school bus operators with vehicles which had exceeded the current 20 year age limit to continue to operate and provide transport service for school children.
"However, they are required to send their buses for periodical checks at the Computerised Vehicle Inspection centre (Puspakom) to ensure the vehicles are road-worthy," she said in a statement, reports Bernama.
She said it would be up to Puspakom, depending on the bus condition, whether or not to allow the vehicle to continue to be on the road.
On the application for new licences and vehicle replacement, the age of the buses to be licenced should not be more than 20 years from the registration date, she added.
Meanwhile, the move to extend the age limit of school buses, from 20 to 30, has been lauded by the School Bus Operators Association of Malaysia, reports Husna Yusop.
Its president Chee Ah Tay described the move as "practical and proper" and said it would relieve the problems faced by the operators of some 70% of the total 16,000 school buses in the country which were 20 years or older.
"In our view, as long as the buses have passed the Puspakom inspection, they should still be allowed to be on the roads. But, we agree there is a need to limit the age due to public perception.
"Thirty years old is a practical and proper age limit for the buses as they are still safe to be used. It is also an age accepted by the public," he told theSun.
Chee said before this, they were not very comfortable with the government’s decision and the association has asked the government for a review towards a more practical policy.
The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) also welcomed the decision as its chief executive Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said it would also indirectly benefit consumers.
"The parents would benefit from the move too when the operators need not have to incur more costs to buy new vehicles. So, this is also a good move for consumers.
"However, we would like to suggest for the older buses to go through more regular and detailed inspections and for the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board to perhaps restrict their travel distance," he said.
Mohd Yusof said parents would feel safe sending their children on the buses if they have been assured to be in good condition by Puspakom.
Telah terlibat dalam pergerakan kepenggunaan semenjak tahun 1992. Merupakan Bendahari Agung FOMCA semenjak tahun 1998 dan Presiden Persatuan Pengguna Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan semenjak tahun 2002.