KL bans double deckers on 6 routes
DOUBLE-DECKER buses have been barred indefinitely from using six routes in Malaysia which have been described as dangerous for them.
The routes are to Genting Highlands, Cameron Highlands, Fraser's Hill, Bukit Larut, Bukit Tinggi and Gunung Jerai.
The ban will take effect next Thursday, said Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.
"Bus operators will have about two weeks to make all the necessary adjustments with regard to their double-decker services using these routes.
"Services of double-decker buses using routes other than the six are not affected by this decision," he told reporters after chairing a bus accident special committee meeting on Tuesday.
Mr Abdul Aziz added that the government was still studying the suitability of such buses in Malaysia.
"Until we come out with a final decision, the ban on these buses plying the six routes is indefinite," he said.
On Sunday, a double-decker express bus plunged down a slope along the Kuantan-Segamat trunk road, killing a passenger.
The bus was carrying 40 people when it crashed near the Sungai Jernih plantation in Pahang at around 4.40pm.
On April 12, a Transnasional double-decker bus hit an electricity pole and overturned in Bentong, killing three passengers.
Express bus operators told The Star they are being held to ransom by their own drivers, who are allegedly exploiting a driver shortage in the industry to escape punishment for dangerous driving.
Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Ashfar Ali declined to comment on the issue of errant bus drivers.
However, he confirmed that the industry is experiencing a driver shortage, adding: "The government has to ensure a constant supply of drivers into the market.
"Safety measures cost money. We urge passengers to be prepared to pay higher fares."
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK