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MMA: Mandate psychological assessment for road rage offenders

Publish date: Sat, 10 Jun 2023, 01:02 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: People convicted of road rage should undergo psychological assessments before being allowed to drive again, said the Malaysian Medical Association.

Its president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai said apart from facing punishment, those found guilty of a road rage offence should be evaluated for any potential mental disorders.

"If any mental disorders are identified, they should be treated and fully rehabilitated before being allowed back behind the wheel.

"These steps are necessary even if they are serving a jail term, as those who have not been rehabilitated can still pose a danger to other road users," he said in a statement.

Dr Muruga further said people who display road rage have an issue regulating their emotions.

Certain psychological factors like heightened levels of stress, anxiety and displaced anger can contribute to violent behaviour on the road or incidents of road rage, he explained.

He added that substance and alcohol use disorders and bipolar mood disorder, are some of the examples of mental health disorders that can make people prone to explosive outbursts.

"Another disorder that can trigger outbursts is Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) - an impulsive control disorder that is characterised by sudden bursts of rage without apparent provocation.

"We urge the authorities concerned to look into including referrals to a mental health team for proper psychological assessment and management in the form of counselling or psychotherapy, as part of its management of road rage cases."

Earlier this week, factory worker Mohammad Zaim Faiz Tarmizi, 29, made headlines after a video capturing him assaulting a woman driver near Lata Iskandar, Cameron Highlands, went viral.

The video showed Zaim exiting his vehicle and approaching the car behind him, where he proceeded to verbally confront the female driver and strike her forehead multiple times.

Zaim has been sentenced to seven days of imprisonment.

He is also under investigation for allegedly assaulting two restaurant workers in a separate incident that occurred in Cameron Highlands.

Meanwhile, earlier today, Penang police detained a man on suspicion of hitting female driver.

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