Curbing their enthusiasm to ride on highways

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 19 Sep 2020

PETALING JAYA: With safety-first in mind, the cycling community will avoid going into the highways or expressways following a police reminder that such activities are prohibited.

Bukit Jelutong Cycling Club president Ahmad Salleh said that safety is the utmost concern whenever a cyclist hit the road.

“We agree there is a huge speed difference in bicycles versus other vehicles and we should not be cycling on highways with no separate motorcycle lanes for our safety.

“If there is support from the government where they can provide us with proper bike lanes or cycle paths then it will be better, ” he said in an interview.

Prior to the police reminder, several highways or expressways in the Klang Valley with a relatively low traffic volume during the weekends have been favoured by avid cyclists for longer rides.

Ahmad said cyclists previously rode on the KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway (Latar) but it was banned last year following fatal accidents involving cyclists in 2017.

“We still use the Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE) that has a motorcycle lane.

“The speed difference between a motorcycle and a bicycle is not that big on GCE bike lane as there are corners and tunnel along the way.

“For now, we will try to avoid riding on highways but sometimes there is no choice because some roads will lead to the highway before we can exit to a trunk road, ” he added.

Avid cyclist Ahmad Syakir Sharum, 43, who created his Pelan Pelan Kayuh YouTube channel with over 38,000 followers, admitted that cyclists went onto highways due to the wider lanes and even surface.

“We want safety as much as others and we adhere to all requirements and rules when we are on the road, ” he said.

“We also avoid busy highways because cycling on highways with high traffic volume is never a good idea.”

Ahmad Syakir proposed the authorities to consider allowing cycling on less-busy highways like Latar, GCE and the Sistem Lingkaran-Lebuhraya Kajang highway on weekend mornings.

The businessman noted that more should be done for safer and extensive cycling infrastructure for the public as cycling is no longer a recreational activity nearby homes.

“So we need to recognise that cyclists are also road users. We must all respect each other’s right and be responsible to ensure safety for all.”

Moving forward, Ahmad Syakir said the government should include dedicated bicycle lanes and networks of cycling paths such as those found in Japan and Singapore.

“They should provide places where people can cycle more frequently and safely, by focusing on promoting ethical cycling culture instead of just having punitive measures, ” he said.

“We should also develop rules or code of ethics for cyclists, similar to the National Standard for Cycle Training in the UK that examines a cyclist’s “bikeability” across all levels and age groups.”

Ahmad concurred, adding that not all rode irresponsibly and some of the unpleasant comments against cyclists on social media of late were uncalled for.

“As road users, we should all share the road, limits and responsibilities, ” he added.

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