PETALING JAYA: With more Malaysians ordering food online and through mobile phone apps, the speed involving how food delivery riders complete orders is posing huge safety risks.
More riders are becoming reckless as they speed down the road, weaving in and out of traffic and squeezing through gaps between cars and trailers.
“Such an irresponsible attitude on the road poses a danger to both riders and other motorists.
“I have seen it myself many times. It is also common to see them beating the traffic lights,” said National Road Safety Council member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
Noting that the majority of riders had a tendency of speeding, Lee said food delivery companies should educate their riders.
“They can engage with road safety experts or groups to convince riders to ride safely, including teaching them defensive riding techniques,” he said.
In response, food delivery providers said they did not condone reckless behaviour on the road.
One of the firms, RunningMan, said the company made it a point to keep communication active between the restaurants, riders and customers.
“We usually take an hour to complete a delivery from the moment the order is confirmed.
“Often, under special circumstances such as weather hazards and peak hours, we make sure we inform the customer to expect a delay.
“That way, the customer will understand our predicament and riders can travel safety without feeling pressured,” said operation executive YC Chan.
Other than the usual EPF and Socso coverage, Chan said the company also provided insurance cover to riders with a safe track record.
A spokesman from another food delivery provider, Hungry, urged customers to be considerate if they received their food late.
“Speeding to meet delivery deadlines is a recipe for accidents and fatalities.
“Since the company is still working on insurance coverage for the riders, it is the riders’ responsibility to ensure their own safety on the road,” he said.
There are currently 11 food delivery service providers in Malaysia.
For riders employed either on a part or full-time basis, their earnings come from the delivery fees charged to customers for each delivery, plus incentives when they show a good track record.
A food delivery rider who wanted to be known only as Salim, admitted to speeding when he had to rush deliveries.
“I tend to disregard the law whenever it rains or during peak hours when I have to rush.
“It is dreadful to get trapped in traffic under those circumstances,’ said the 21-year-old who is about a year into the job.
A Grab spokesman said disciplinary action would be taken against any reckless GrabFood rider - provided there was a report with evidence.
“We do have our set of safety guidelines. We are not obligated, but we go beyond to provide insurance coverage because we understand that security and safety is important for all.
“We are doing what we can to keep the industry sustainable,” said the spokesman.