KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Prominent social activist and Alliance for Safe Community chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye has appealed to the government to implement segregated motorcycle lanes in the country to save thousands of lives lost among motorcyclists and pillion riders.
He said while the government deserved praise for its initiative that resulted in the recent passing of a law that provides for a more severe penalty for drivers in drink-driving road crashes, the same priority was however not accorded to the elephant in the room as far as Malaysia’s road safety issues were concerned.
“This proposal concerns the safety of motorcyclists, the most vulnerable category of road users to crashes, particularly fatal ones that have claimed thousands of lives of Malaysians and mostly in the youth age group,” Lee said in a statement.
Lee proposed that with the 12th Malaysia Plan due to kick off next year, segregated motorcycle lanes similar to the ones found in certain stretches of highways and roads in parts of the country, especially in some urban centres, could be implemented.
“The best example of such live-saving lanes is certainly along both flanks of the Federal Highway stretching from Petaling Jaya to Shah Alam and up to Klang. The Federal Highway is, without doubt, one of the busiest with traffic virtually round-the-clock but according to statistics, an average of only two fatal crashes involving motorcycles has been recorded annually.
“As a second preventive step to save lives, a law has to be enacted to reduce the speed limit of motorcycles from the existing motorcycling culture where riders are by and large speeding at their whim and fancy and with impunity.
“Initially, to reduce the big capital expenditure of making available these segregated lanes all over the country, we call on the relevant authorities like the Transport Ministry and police to confine motorcyclists to ride only on the left-most lanes of highways and roads, with double-lines demarcated to separate them from other vehicles.
“In this way, the two-wheelers are barred from riding on the fast lanes competing for space with the bigger vehicles, which is obviously the main cause for the horrific high death tolls among motorcyclists and pillion riders,” he said.
Lee opined that this approach shall be the forerunner to the eventual implementation of the full-fledged segregated lanes.
“The Alliance for a Safe Community views these measures as highly doable, practical and above all, are not rocket science without the necessity of further research into its pros and cons. It is pure common sense.
“It is all the more imperative that the government implements this programme with the sharp increase in the number of motorcyclists on our roads following the fast-growing popularity of the food delivery service provided by GrabFood, Food Panda and others,” he said. — Bernama