‘Cyclists on highways asking for trouble’

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 19 Sep 2020

GEORGE TOWN: Cycling enthusiasts in Penang are against fellow cyclists eager to cycle on the highways as they are only asking for trouble, they say.

They feel that these cyclists are not only endangering others but risk hurting themselves.

G Club Penang Cyclists chairman Datuk Dr Lim Seh Guan said the strong wind from a heavy vehicle could potentially knock off a cyclist.

“When a heavy vehicle passes by, it is enough to push you off-balance and crash, ” he said.

Stressing that cycling on highways is “asking for trouble”, Dr Lim said authorities should set heavier fines and even jail time for cyclists caught on highways.

“I feel the punishment now is too light. If you want a deterrent, you need a heavier fine and maybe jail time. There are always people who are gung-ho and will take the risk of being fined.

“If you impose a definite jail sentence, it will stop them from taking the risk, ” he said.

Dr Lim said on rainy days, even the splash of water caused by a passing vehicle can cause a cyclist to fall.

“Road bikes these days are light and can weigh less than 10kg. It will not be able to take the impact.

“I advise those who want to travel by bicycle to just take the trunk road, as you can stop over at multiple towns and vehicles are much slower there, ” he said.

Dr Lim said in Penang despite the narrower roads, it was actually safer to cycle there adding that roads in Kuala Lumpur feel like highways and the distance between two points can be far.

Bike on Fridays (BoF) assistant captain Bryan Toong said cyclists in his group were against riding on tolled highways.

“They are endangering others and face a high risk of getting hurt themselves.

“But many places are not blessed with dedicated cycling lanes like we are in Penang, so I do understand the urge to cycle on highways.

“There are some highways that have motorcycle lanes. Maybe there can be a leeway for cyclists to use these lanes on weekends, ” he said.

Bikemaxx Cycling Team vice-president Mohd Yusoff Mohd Noor agreed that cyclists should not risk using highways.

“When we organise rides, we check with the police and hold meetings to ensure everyone will be safe and that the routes are allowed, ” he said.

“If there is a law, we must abide by it as it is for our own safety.

“I believe RM1,000 is a good fine and I hope it deters people from cycling on the highway, ” he added.

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