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I refer to the writings of DR JOSEPH JESUDASAN from Malacca – Glaring Danger (The Star, 12th December 2011).
Contrary to what most people believe and made clear by our PRO (The Star, 9th November 2009) on the matter of HID lights, a motor vehicle is allowed to be fitted with such lights. The simple divide of a vehicle fitted with HID lights is between a factory fitted ones and retrofitted ones, which is illegal.
About the 269 vehicle models with factory fitted HID lights cleared by RTD, it must be emphasized here that the approvals were not meant to give any mixed signals to any vehicle owners about retrofitting their vehicles with HID lights. Every new vehicle make or model entering the Malaysian market must undergo the Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) process. This is to ensure the construction of a vehicle complies with mandatory international standards, more specifically the UNECE Vehicle Technical Regulation, ratified, adopted and enforced by our country. During this VTA process, RTD officers will physically inspect a model and its markings based on certificates and test reports provided by the vehicle manufacturer for every components, including HID lights. If a vehicle with HID lights is in compliance with the international UNECE standards (UNCE R48, R98 and R99 for HID lights components and installation) then it will pass the VTA process and allowed to be used on our roads. Therefore, a vehicle with retrofitted HID lights is not only against the law but also contravene the technical standards meant for the safe construction and use of one. Two key components of HID lights is the ballast gas tank and HID light temperature control unit which are crucial for the safe operation of the headlamps. Therefore, the components of a retrofitted HID light could well be a safety issue to the user of the vehicle themselves, apart from glaring the eyes of oncoming driver on the opposite side of the road.
Enforcement done by RTD is solely concentrated on the altercation with the technical and safety issues arising from vehicles with retrofitted HID lights. This department takes seriously on matters of enforcement and since 2008, a total of 6,020 cases of vehicles taken action for having retrofitted HID lights have been recorded to date. Ironic as it is, a vehicle owner wishing to install retrofitted HID lights could well allow workshops to make various modifications to their car components in order to do so, at their own peril. In this regard, the RTD does not have the jurisdiction nor casus belli to enter the premises of car accessories shops offering retrofit HID lights to prohibit this matter at source, much the same with shops selling tinted films. Altruistically, the public is welcomed to submit their complaints on vehicles with retrofitted HID lights for us to call in the owners and inspect their vehicles. However, responsibility over complaints must be emphasized here as we do not wish for the innocent to be called in. On the other hand, with 269 models cleared and the technical nature of having to inspect physically those lights against what the untrained eyes see, could prohibit this.
DATO SOLAH BIN MAT HASSAN
Road Transport Department
11 Januari 2012