Rules to be eased for disabled e-hailing drivers

PETALING JAYA, 11 April 2019: 

The Transport Ministry will amend eligibility requirements for the application of the Public Transport Vehicle (PSV) licence to allow the disabled (OKU) to become e-hailing drivers.

The current Road Transport Department (RTD) regulations prohibit the disabled from obtaining a PSV licence, which will become mandatory for the e-hailing drivers starting July 12.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said at present there were around 400 disabled e-hailing drivers and the amendments were necessary to enable them to continue working and earning income.

“We want to amend the regulation to enable OKUs to be able to register as PSV drivers. We are doing it immediately, hopefully by May.

“We are talking about 300 to 400 OKU drivers. They will be given priority for going (to apply). We will make sure come July 12, once the regulation is in place, they can continue to drive.”

Loke said 25 companies looking to provide e-hailing services had applied for an operators licence so far, with 16 of them approved and two rejected, while over 1,000 drivers had been registered with PSV licences so far.

Asked about e-hailing drivers who rejected the terms of the PSV Licence registration, Loke urged them to look at it from a different perspective and insisted all drivers should cooperate and register according to the set regulations.

“Of course it will be a little bit troublesome for you to go to the course, (apply for the) licence and so on, but look at the long term benefits. The whole industry will be legalised and regulated, so that you (can) have a more secure environment to operate in.

“Once you do that, (it) is just for one time only. We are not asking them to do it every year. And then next year, you just renew it,” he said, urging all e-hailing drivers to register their PSV licence as soon as possible and not wait until the last minute.

Separately, Grab Malaysia – in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) – announced its unique Passenger Verification feature which enables users to verify their identity on Grab’s app via a live selfie option.

This is part of Grab’s long-term safety commitment to set the bar high for transportation safety standards and bring preventable incidents on its platform down to zero through technology innovations.

Loke said Malaysia is setting the pace for the region in many ways including working together through public-private collaboration.

“Through public-private collaboration, we are working together including with Grab to find innovative ways to harness technology for social good.

“Technology is a great enabler, it changes the way we get around and now, with the support and commitment from Grab, we are seeing the safety bar being raised to roll out new, innovative solutions powered by technology that will make transportation in Malaysia safer everyday.”

Loke said Grab was able to play a more significant role in creating a safer Malaysia by reducing the number of preventable road incidents and protecting Grab drivers as they strived to earn a living.

“Safety has always been a priority (and) major concern for Malaysians both on and off the roads. Grab has always been focused in solving this challenge from the very beginning as we work together to find the best solutions for the safety of Malaysians who depend on e-hailing services everyday.

“We are glad that Grab has put safety at the core of their operations, and are confident that we will be able to bring the number of preventable incidents down to zero.”

Grab Malaysia country head Sean Goh said the advanced facial recognition technology now built into Grab’s app ensured the selfie taken was of a ‘live’ human and is also able to detect and reject inappropriate photos.

He said passengers can be assured their selfie would only be used for one-time verification, and like all personal data on Grab, would be protected under Malaysia’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

“Since its initial rollout early this year, this feature has served as a strong deterrence against crimes. Passenger-related crimes on our platform have declined by 30% as a result of it being launched as a requirement for all new users, giving our driver-partners greater peace of mind.”

Goh also said the selfie will not be displayed as a profile picture or shared with any external party, including drivers and merchants.

– Bernama