Motorcycle menace on the highway

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 15 Sep 2018

A recently refurbished stretch of the motorcycle lane along the Federal Highway.

MOTORCYCLISTS are not using the dedicated lanes on both sides of the Federal Highway provided for them.

Choosing to ride on the main carriageway of the highway, hundreds of motorcyclists weave in and out of traffic.

Others squeeze through tight gaps between cars, vans and trailers, and this irresponsible attitude poses a danger to both themselves and other motorists.

Worse still, during rush hour in the mornings or evenings, riders in groups of five to seven would choose to tail-gate ambulances or even police lorries transporting convicts, further aggravating the traffic situation.

With such brazen attitudes, riders have become even more bold, to the extent of tail-gating police cars with blaring sirens as they rush to a crime or accident scene.

Concerted enforcement is much needed from the police and Road Transport Department.

Motorcyclists who use the dedicated lane for two-wheelers between Kuala Lumpur and Klang can have a safer ride.

One reason for this is that they do not come into contact with cars and other heavy vehicles.

The 28.5km motorcycle lanes along the Federal Highway are under the jurisdiction of three authorities and can be seen on both sides from Mid Valley City in Kuala Lumpur to Sungai Rasau in Klang.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall manages about 2.4km of the motorcycle lane from Mid Valley City while the concessionaire of Sprint highway is responsible for about 2km of the lanes until Kota Darul Ehsan.

From Kota Darul Ehsan to the Berkeley roundabout in Klang, the motorcycle lanes that stretch 24.1km come under the Public Works Department (JKR).

Most motorcyclists are aware that they are not prohibited from using the Federal Highway although there are dedicated lanes.

The motorcycle lanes under the jurisdicton of JKR were gazetted on July 1, 2001, under Legal Notification (A) 188. However, no specific prohibition that disallows motorcycles from entering the main carriageway was made at that time.

The once-motorcycle-free Federal Highway has reached chronic proportions today.

Motorcycle accidents involving other vehicles are becoming the norm as some motorists are caught off-guard by riders weaving in and out of lanes.

Motorists who try to avoid the motorcyclists thus end up running into other vehicles.

One afternoon a few months ago, just outside the BH Petrol kiosk along the highway, a lone rider caused a multiple-vehicle crash when a taxi swerved and hit into a lamppost at the highway median causing it to fall.

In the evenings, usually after 5.45pm, the Federal Highway becomes clogged up and motorcyclists tend to ride in-between cars and other vehicles, switching lanes in an erratic manner and even riding the fast lane.

Actions of this sort are dangerous and bound to cause accidents.

At times, annoyed motorists honk at these reckless riders but this only leads to a show of fists or shouting.

Of late, I notice riders on the Federal Highway who resort to thuggish behaviour such as kicking car doors, revving their engines or sideswiping vehicle side mirrors on purpose as they speed through.

Some riders who weave through the traffic and happen to lose their balance end up scratching cars and would just speed off without much concern, leaving the motorists with the damage.

Motorcyclist must be made to use the dedicated lanes and for those habitual offenders, their machines must be confiscated and a hefty fine be imposed.

It is also time the Government, namely JKR, improves conditions at the dedicated lanes, such as by lighting up dark spots at the lanes, increasing the number of pump houses at sections which are frequently flooded, painting tunnel walls, repainting faded lines, widening paths, increasing the number of signboards and improving the entry and exit of the motorcycle lanes with cat eye reflectors.

An immediate inspection of the highway’s motorcycle lanes must be carried out to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities among motorcyclists.

It is important that the authorities denounce lawlessness on the Federal Highway and enforce the law.

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