KUALA LUMPUR – Last year, according to police statistics, out of the 7,152 people who died in road accidents, 4,484 (62.7 per cent) of them were motorcyclists.
The high number of fatalities involving motorcyclists does not come as a surprise considering that motorcycles make up half the vehicles on Malaysian roads.
Being the preferred transport mode for those in the middle and lower-income groups, the option of introducing new regulations to impose tighter control on the number of motorcycles on our roads is not something the government may be willing to consider unless it is forced to as various parties may potentially resist such a move.
New Car Assessment Programme for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN NCAP) secretary-general Dr Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim said any proposal to introduce specific regulations to check the rising fatality rate among motorcyclists would have to be studied carefully and in a rational manner.
“These days, motorcycles are not just used by the lower-income group but also by others who find it more convenient to ride their bikes to work or to go to the shops or mosque when the roads are congested,” said Khairil Anwar, who is also head of ASEAN NCAP Operationalisation Unit at the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) Director-General’s Office.