Brief history of land transportation in Brunei
Interesting facts and figures with my comments in brackets from the Land Transport Department website:
In 1907, a footpath was built between (Jalan?) Residency and Brunei Town at Jalan Subok (this was the time when the Bubungan Duabelas or the building with twelve roofs was made as the residence of the first British Resident in Brunei which also served as his office. Bubungan Duabelas is the oldest building in the country still intact.)
In 1914, a 60-mile distance pilot scheme was constructed to link Brunei Town and Kuala Belait. (with a ferry terminal at the now Pantai Seri Kenangan – still there).
In 1924, the Road Traffic Regulations was first introduced under Chapter 68 of Brunei Laws called “Traction Engines and Motor Cars Enactment 1924”.
In 1926, 21 vehicles were registered (the first registered vehicles in Brunei).
In 1928, the government bus service for Tutong District and Belait District was launched at a distance of 35 miles.
In 1929, 45 vehicles were registered and the Police Department has issued 58 drivers a driving license. (So it was the Police who issued driving licenses initially).
In 1930 the number of registered vehicles increased to 73 units.
By 1950, 1500 vehicles have been registered – 975 registered at Kuala Belait and 225 vehicles register at Brunei Muara District; and 2048 driving licenses has been issued. (Please check the total, as 975 + 225 is not equal to 1,500 but 1,200)
In 1954, “TRACTION ENGINE AND MOTOR CARS ENACTMENT 1924” has been amended and known as the “The Road Traffic Enactment 1954” administrated by Chief Police Officer the Controller of land Transport. (Confusing post eh).
By 1960, a total of 7992 vehicles were registered and 7519 driving licenses issued with a total income of $294,212.00. (At that time, this is a lot of money)
1st January 1962, the Land Transport Department was established and administered by its first Controller, Inche Abd Ghani bin Jamil. Prior to this, the Royal Brunei Police administered the responsibility.(I remember seeing a street named ‘Jalan Inche’ somewhere, so must be this named after this gentleman. Will check the street’s whereabout.)
On 1st January 1963 the register of bicycle has been discontinued. (Now this is interesting, as I didn’t know you have to register your bicycle then. Cars must be getting popular around this time and this could be the reason why we are seeing less bicycles today).
January 1969, the Land Transport Department was transferred to a one-storey building at Km 5 Jalan Gadong. This department earned $671,829.00 for the first year.
25th July 1996, the Land Transport Department was again transferred to a new 5-storey building at Km 6 Beribi Jalan Gadong.
By the way, read all about it! – local dailies today reported that the Land Transport Department has recruited nine special people who are hearing and speech impaired to a full-time job as data-entry personnel. Nice!