JOHOR BARU: A special police crackdown against the mat lajak (teenagers involved in illegal bicycle racing) menace has resulted in 91 modified bicycles being taken off the streets.
Johor police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said the parents of the teenagers were also called in to meet with police.
“We counselled them and their children on the dangers involved. Youngsters are overzealous and ignoring the risks of modifying their bicycles without the use of brakes.
“We already have too many accidents involving motorcyclists and the last thing we want is to have cyclists also being killed,” the CPO said yesterday.
Comm Mohd Khalil was asked to comment after three teenagers were spotted performing daring stunts on their modified bicycles near Taman Kulai Utama in Kulai on Thursday.
He said that since the police operations, there was a drop in mat lajak incidents.
So far, he said, 13 operations have been conducted in Johor Baru, Kluang, Kulai, Segamat and Pontian.
Besides seizing the bicycles, 31 summonses were issued for illegal modification.
The mat lajak ride bicycles with modified frames, spruced-up handlebars, lowered front forks and the brakes removed to show off daring stunts, such as lifting the front of the bike and cruising on the back wheel.
The boys usually demonstrate their skills by gliding downhill and are most of the time out on the streets at night.
Police’s efforts to curb them were stepped up especially after the horrific accident that claimed the lives of eight boys at Jalan Lingkaran Dalam near the Mahmoodiah Muslim cemetery here on Feb 18.
Comm Mohd Khalil advised parents to keep a close watch on their children, saying he was concerned as the long year-end holidays are around the corner.
State Education Department director Shaharudin Sharif also told parents to keep their children occupied with beneficial activities during the holidays.