By Shahrim Tamrin
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 2019 : The Works Ministry is in favour of introducing a new policy which will restrict motorcyclists to the left or slowest lane of certain roads and expressways during peak hours.
Works Minister Baru Bian, in an interview today, said the proposed policy, which was his idea requires the motorcyclists to ride only on that slow part of the road during the morning and evening rush hours on weekdays.
He said statistics of road deaths and injuries during those hours of commuting to work and home involving motorcyclists and pillion riders have reached an alarming level over the past four years.
“I think we can apply certain provisions during those hours of the working days like during the high (volume) traffic period that bikers may be limited to ride only on the most left side of the road,” Baru said.
“This is perhaps more feasible. I think any suggestion for the policy to be enforced around the clock is not suitable currently,” he added in response to a suggestion by road safety advocates group Safety First for the government to enforce a blanket ruling on such a policy.
Baru also said that the implementation of the proposed policy, which is ideal for stretches such as New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and KL-Seremban Highway would not be in the near future as the authorities still need to get feedbacks from the stakeholders.
It is understood that Safety First had tabled several proposals with Baru and held separate discussion with Public Works Department officials.
The group has also been urging the government to impose a speed limit of 70 km/h on ‘kapcai’ (low-powered) motorcycles but this was rejected by Baru.
“For now, imposing such speed limit specifically for bikers is not likely. We need to conduct in-depth study since this requires thorough observation over a long period, especially in the mixed traffic situation on highways and expressways as well as roads around townships, small towns and also in rural areas,” said Baru.
Road Safety Department had early this year suggested a plan to emulate the practice in developed countries of limiting motorcyclists, especially those on low-powered motorcycles, to the left lane to reduce accident rate.
Safety icon Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye in supporting the proposal expressed concern over the need to stop motorcyclists from using the middle and fast lanes due to the worsening fatality rate among them.