Transport Ministry to speed up the removal of abandoned cars

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Transport Minister Anthony Loke speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya August 27, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 27 — The Transport Ministry is mulling a standard operating procedure (SOP) to remove vehicles that are abandoned along main roads and residential areas.

Minister Anthony Loke, after chairing the first National Transportation Council (NTC), said the current length of a six- to 12-month processing period from when the vehicle is towed to being scrapped is too long.

“We have suggested the SOP for this issue be sped up to a period of one month, with notice of removal being served for one week before the vehicle is towed.

“The most we are looking at is the vehicle being in the compound depot for three more weeks before being scrapped,” he explained.

Loke said the current practice would be for a removal notice to be served for at least a month, and then almost half a year is needed for cross-agency checks to be carried out before the vehicle is approved to be scrapped.

“We will draft a new SOP and have it presented at the next council meeting in November. Hopefully, we can enforce the new guidelines by early next year,” he said.

Loke added that the occurrence of abandoned cars had seen an uptrend over the last few years, with 15,019 complaints received by local authorities since 2015.

He said the ministry also plans to consolidate the responsibility and enforcement jurisdiction to resolve the issue.

“The enforcement power over this issue will be given to the local state authorities, who will work with the other government agencies to speed up the process.

“We also need an integrated system to cross-check information on these vehicles, to also verify if they are stolen, uninsured, or whose owner has defaulted payments with financial institutions,” explained Loke.

He added that during today’s meeting NTC meeting, those present were also briefed by the ministry’s deputy secretary-general on the operations and overview of the ministry.

Among the other issues Loke said were discussed was e-hailing enforcement with the latest development on regulations, and the suggestion of free bus services being offered by all state governments.

He added his ministry are also considering introducing parking terminals for large commercial vehicles, such as trailers and large lorries, so they are parked in areas where they are not an encumbrance to the public.

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