KUALA LUMPUR: Cycling groups who wish to use highways should apply to local authorities and the police beforehand, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said this was part of the ministry’s effort to step up enforcement after a cycling mishap that claimed eight lives in Johor Baru last month.
“To ensure these accidents do not happen again, the ministry will also ensure better safety on roads dedicated to motor vehicles.
“We will also not allow modified bicycles on highways without prior approval because of the presence of fast motor vehicles on three-lane roads, which is more likely to cause accidents,” he said in reply to Datuk Normala Abdul Samad (BN - Pasir Gudang) in Parliament Thursday.
On Feb 18, eight teenagers were killed after a car crashed into their group near an exit of a bypass along Jalan Lingkaran Dalam in Johor Baru at about 3.30am.
Liow said police were still investigating the accident and any legal action from the result will be undertaken by police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
“The Ministry will ask the local authorities to identify important routes for cyclists, and we encourage both motorcycle and bicycle riders to use proper reflective attire when on the roads.
“We also urge cycling groups who want to use highways to apply to the local authorities and police to help so that the safety of their convoy is taken care of,” he said.
Asked if there were plans to amend the Road Transport Act 1987 to increase penalties, Liow said that existing penalties were sufficient.
“At the moment, causing death by reckless or dangerous driving is punishable by a jail term between two and 10 years, and a fine between RM5,000 and RM20,000 upon conviction.
“This is heavy enough a penalty for this offence,” he said.