Roads are not playgrounds for children
MARCH 26, 2017 THE issue of underage road users is not new. We hear about it whenever the authorities conduct roadblocks and enforcement.
During weekends or school holidays, there is a growing concern that underage children without valid driving licences are driving vehicles.
Many do not wear helmets or buckle up.
Our law is clear on this, with Section 39 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) stating that no person under 16 shall drive a motor vehicle on a road.
Subsection (2) of the same section stipulates that “no person under 17 years of age shall drive a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle or an invalid carriage on a road”.
Subsection (3) of the same act states that “no person under 21 years of age shall drive a tractor heavy, tractor light, mobile machinery heavy, mobile machinery light, motor car, heavy or public service vehicle on road”.
But, only through strict enforcement of the law can we deal with this issue.
Parents and guardians need to play their roles as well, as legal action can be taken against them for failing to supervise their children without a driving licence from using vehicles that belong to them.
This is mentioned under Section 39 (5) of the act: “Any person who drives, or causes or permits any person to drive, a motor vehicle in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both”.
Roads are not playgrounds for children. Activities by children on roads — on bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, or walking — should be supervised by adults.
DR MUZAFFAR SYAH MALLOW, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai, Negri Sembilan