Govt: Health and Driving Competency Must Be Evaluated

Chief Justice Anwar Usman entering the plenary courtroom for the material judicial review hearing of Law No. 22 of 2009 on Road Traffic and Land Transportation (LLAJ), Monday (7/10/2023). Photo by Humas MK/Ifa.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The judicial review hearing of Law No. 22 of 2009 on Road Traffic and Land Transportation Law (LLAJ Law) continued in the Constitutional Court (MK) on Monday, July 10, 2023. The fourth hearing for case No. 42/PUU-XXI/2023, filed by advocate Arifin Purwanto, had been scheduled to present the House of Representatives’ (DPR) and the Government’s testimonies, but both the House was indisposed and had only submitted a written testimony while the Government was represented by Director-General of Land Transportation Hendro Sugiatno.

At the on-site hearing chaired by Chief Justice Anwar Usman, Hendro argued that the Petitioner had failed to understand Article 85 paragraph (2) of the LLAJ Law, which stipulates that a driving license (SIM) shall be valid for five years and can be extended, as he only partially and textually observed the a quo article, standalone from other articles on driving license in the Law.

He explained that Article 85 paragraph (2) stipulates the time limit as a reasonable period for evaluation and oversight on whether the physical and psychological health requirements are met. This, he added, would impact the driver’s driving competency.

Hendro argued that in determining this time limit, society’s conditions must be considered. If society has had high compliance with traffic regulations, this time limit would not be as crucial, so a driving license can be set to apply until a certain age, as applies in developed countries. In contrast, if the compliance is still relatively low, a time limit is crucial in order to evaluate driver’s health and driving competency.

Article 85 paragraph (2) of the LLAJ Law must be observed as part of the preceding and following articles on driving license, i.e. Articles 81, 83, 87, and 88.

Articles 81 and 83 of the LLAJ Law relate to the requirements to obtain a driving license and drive a motorized vehicle: age, administrative requirements, physical and psychological health, as well as driving knowledge and skills. Meanwhile, Articles 87 and 88 relate to the procedure to issue a driving license. There must be periodic evaluation of driver’s health and driving competency as one’s physical and psychological health might fluctuate, thus affecting their driving competency.

In response, Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra asked the factors affecting the extension of a driving license, “Is it age, accident rate, or what? Among those factors, how dominant is age?”

He also asked if it was relevant to maintain the five-year extension period. “To judge whether it is relevant to maintain the five-year [period] or [whether it should be] changed, [the chief of Traffic Corps] must explain to us these technical considerations of whether [one’s license] be extended or not, and what is done when one comes to extend their license so that there will be a checklist on whether it can be extended or not,” he stressed.

Also read:

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The Petitioner questions the expiry of driving license (SIM) in Article 85 paragraph (2) of the LLAJ Law, which reads, “Driving License shall apply for 5 (five) years and be extendible.”

At the preliminary hearing on Wednesday, May 10, the Petitioner said that every five years he had to extend his driving license (SIM), which he argued was unfavorable for him.

“Every time I extend my driving license, for example last year, I would get a driving license. Then five years later, I extend it a second time. The license number would be different, Your Honor. There is no legal certainty and if the deadline is passed, everything must be started from scratched and processed. This, of course, is in contrast with [resident ID card or KTP]. [A new] KTP will be produced at once,” he said.

In the petition, the Petitioner alleges the five-year expiration period for driving license had no legal basis and no clear parameter based on review. He also feels disadvantaged by the cost and time for the extension process.

The LLAJ Law mandates every driver of motorized vehicles to have a driving license. The theoretical and practice tests for obtaining it are surely not easy. The test results only notify test-takers whether they have passed or failed the tests, but do not show the answers for the questions. In addition, the Petitioner alleges, the materials for these tests do not have clear legal bases and do not show any review from competent institutions. This, he argues, is in violation of Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution.

Based on those arguments, the Petitioner requests that the Court grant the petition and declare Article 85 paragraph (2) of the LLAJ Law unconstitutional and not legally binding as long as the phrase “shall apply for 5 (five) years and be extendible” not be interpreted as “shall apply for life.”   

Author       : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Andhini S.F.
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Monday, July 10, 2023 | 18:02 WIB 90