Transport Ministry to regulate ‘p-hailing’ industry via existing laws, safety campaigns, says Dr Wee

PETALING JAYA: The Transport Ministry will regulate the "p-hailing" (motorcycle parcel delivery) industry under existing laws as well as raise awareness among the riders and service providers, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The Transport Minister said this following a study by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) that found 70% of motorcycle delivery riders disobeyed traffic rules when they were doing a delivery run.

“The Ministry is well aware and concerned about the road safety issues and activities during delivery that do not just involve the riders but also other road users.

“This service, as we are seeing now, has become the new norm and become popular to the general public. It has also attracted many people to become riders and new employment opportunities are created due to the pandemic,” he said in a statement to The Star on Wednesday (July 7).

As such, to combat this, Dr Wee said the Ministry would employ two strategies - regulating the service under existing laws under the purview of the Ministry and to increase advocacy and safety campaigns among the riders and service providers.

By regulating this service, he said they will ensure that riders will follow traffic rules and adhere to safety procedures.

“We will make sure only those who have valid driving licenses and those who are not repeat offenders become riders. The vehicles used for this service will also be checked to ensure their roadworthiness.

“Service providers will have to follow licensing criteria to ensure safe operation of their businesses and riders. This will put the responsibility on the companies to ensure the discipline of their riders on the road,” he said, adding that they have held engagement sessions with representatives from riders’ associations and p-hailing companies concerning these activities.

On the enforcement side, Dr Wee said the Ministry has instructed the Road Transport Department to work closely with the police to ensure that riders adhere to all traffic rules.

“Continuous enforcement activities, either jointly or independently executed, will be done to ensure all riders do not break traffic rules,” he said.

Dr Wee also said that continuous advocacy and safety campaigns will also be carried out by Miros to increase awareness on road safety issues and reduce the risk of road accidents that involve riders.

He pointed out that they launched a road safety campaign targeting p-hailing riders in IOI City Mall in April.

In this campaign, he said several key activities were outlined, including road safety education or classes where riders will be taught and exposed to road traffic rules and other safety principles, adding that pop-up messages on road safety will be featured whenever riders receive orders on the app that they use.

“Training courses that cover topics such as safe journey, change of attitude, checks and maintenance of motorbikes and defensive riding will be offered to operators and riders who are interested,” he said.

Meanwhile, Persatuan Penghantar P-hailing Malaysia president Zulhelmi Mansor admitted that such incidents reported in Miros’ study do happen.

However, Zulhelmi pointed out that these issues occur as delivery riders have to rush to make the deliveries due to time constraints.

“If the delivery riders do not deliver within a certain time frame, it can affect their income and their key performance indicators. Not all service providers are like that but most are,” he said when contacted.

Miros’ study found that delivery riders stopping in the yellow box accounted for 57% of all violations, followed by beating the red light (16%), using the handphone while riding (15%), riding against traffic (7%), and making illegal U-turns (5%).

Zulhelmi added that delivery riders run the red light as they are looking at their handphones, noting that they are reliant on their handphones when making the deliveries.

Additionally, he also said that the distance in the service provider’s application to the distance in reality is not accurate.

“For example, if you want to get from A to B, in reality you actually have to take a longer route but in the system it gives you a short cut route but in actual fact that route can’t be used. So, this results in a delivery rider breaking the traffic rules.

“The system has conquered the rider so they follow the system instead of the traffic rules. That’s the reality right now,” he said.

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