General Guides

Do’s and Don’ts of Driving in Malaysia

Header image with a cartoon woman driving, text in the background saying Do's and Don'ts

Just got your driver’s license, are new in the country, or just need a refresher course? Here are several rules you should be aware of when driving in Malaysia. You’ll be surprised at how many of these you don’t know. It’s also beneficial for you to know which traffic rules are penalised and can cost you a summons (Saman), so keep reading to see the Do’s and Don’ts of driving in Malaysia!


  • Buckle up like you’re boarding a rollercoaster
  • Signal your next move to the world like a superhero
  • Keep a safe distance from pedestrians and cars
  • Obey traffic signals like a well-trained dog


  • Drink and drive like a pirate on the high seas
  • Use your mobile phone like an Instagram addict
  • Tailgate; nobody likes a clingy driver
  • Park where you’re not supposed to like a stray cat

What is the 2 to 4-second rule for driving in Malaysia?

Picture this, you’re driving a long distance and sightseeing – the weather is clear, the breeze is wonderful, and then suddenly, the car in front of you swerves violently and switches lanes! Alarmed, you see the reason why the car has moved, a wild boar has stepped onto the road!

Fortunately, you were driving at a stable speed of 4 seconds behind the previous car, so you were able to stop in time. This is the power of the 4-second rule.

It’s important to follow this rule in Malaysia during monsoon season when the roads can be as slippery as a wet bathroom floor. To put the 4-second rule into practice, the next time you’re driving on a clear road, choose an object like a sign or tree in front of you and start counting down from 4. Ideally, you should not reach the object before 4 seconds, if you do, increase your distance.

Albeit subjective, it’s a good rule to keep in mind for driving. For drives in the city, adhere to the 2-second rule to maintain a safe distance.

What are the overtaking rules in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, you should always overtake on the right side of the vehicle you’re passing. Remember that on a 3-lane road, the rules are as follows: Left is for cruising, the middle is for fast driving, and the right is for overtaking.

To stay on the safe side, always indicate when you’re overtaking, and check your mirrors and blind spots like a cautious scaredy-cat.

What is the yellow box rule in Malaysia?

A yellow box, also known as a “box junction,” is a marked area that can be seen as a VIP zone: you’re not allowed to stop, wait, or linger there even in heavy traffic. The only move you can make is pass through smoothly and without delay – to do so safely and properly, only enter the box if there is a clear road ahead to your destination.

Like butter, these boxes help with the flow of traffic and create a smooth journey. In Malaysia, stopping in a yellow box can result in a fine of up to RM300.

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𝘔𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘚𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘦𝘔𝘰𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘚𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴, 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘔𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘧𝘪𝘯®, 𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘐𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘈𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘗𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘭𝘢𝘣 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘚𝘥𝘯 𝘉𝘩𝘥, 𝘔𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘚𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘚𝘥𝘯 𝘉𝘩𝘥, 𝘔𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘚𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘚𝘥𝘯 𝘉𝘩𝘥.

What is the bus or taxi lane rule in Malaysia?

Certain roads such as those in busy areas of Kuala Lumpur like Jalan Tun Razak or Jalan Ampang have designated bus or taxi lanes. These lanes are reserved for public transportation vehicles during specific hours, like a priority seat on a train. You should avoid driving in these lanes unless you need to make a turn or access a property. Violating this rule can result in a fine of up to RM300.

Fines & Summons Penalty in Malaysia

Here is a table of common traffic violations, along with the average fines in Malaysia:

ViolationAverage Fine (RM)
Running a red light300
Using a mobile phone while driving300
Not wearing a seatbelt300
Parking in prohibited areas100-300
Stopping in a yellow boxUp to 300
Driving in a bus or taxi laneUp to 300

Following traffic rules in Malaysia is essential not only for your safety but also for the safety of others on the road. Remember that insurance won’t cover your fines if you’ve violated traffic rules, so next time, be alert and follow the rules!

This article was published on behalf of Authorised Insurance Agencies under MetaFin Platform.

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