GEORGE TOWN: The public has been advised not to use escooters on roads and reminded that the usage of such vehicles was a matter of individual responsibility.
In ensuring that the roads are safe for all vehicles and road users, an integrated operation was conducted by Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and the police on Monday (April 18) night.
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MBPP said, in a Facebook post on Tuesday (April 19), that the operation was conducted at the Unesco World Heritage site in George Town to monitor escooter usage among members of the public.
"Currently, the usage of escooters is prohibited on roads and it is an offence under Section 54 of the Road Transport Act 1987.
"Normally, escooters are only allowed to be used on pavements or in an area separate from the main roads," the statement read.
The statement added that no licence has been given to any escooter operator in the state and the monitoring of the escooters was conducted for the sake of public safety.
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MBPP Enforcement director Azman Sirun said that in the integrated operation that was conducted from 10pm to 3am, a total of 128 escooters riders were given advice.
"Among the locations that we focused on during the operation were at Lebuh Cannon, Lebuh Pantai, Lebuh Armenian and around the city centre," he said when contacted.
He said besides advising the users, business operators offering escooter rental services were also advised to heed the rules not to use the roads as a location to ride escooters.
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Penang police Traffic and Public Order chief Supt Zafri Zolkapli said that among the objectives of the integrated operation was to give advice to operators and users of escooters on the dangers of riding them on the roads.
"Riding escooters on main roads is dangerous and can cause accidents," he said.
Supt Zafri said no summonses were issued during the operation.
It was reported that a by-law will be drawn up that will specifically deal with micro-mobility vehicles, including for users and suppliers to be licenced.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the amendment to the Road Transport Act to regulate the use of such vehicles had already been done in 2020 and the by-law will spell out the details.
ALSO READ: New by-law for micro-mobility vehicles in the works, says Dr Wee
This included the type of vehicles that could be used and licence requirements to operate micro-mobility vehicles of certain speed limits.
Dr Wee reportedly said the by-law was necessary because the use of such vehicles needed to be regulated for the interest of the public and that the ministry’s land division as well as legal adviser had briefed him on the issue.
On Aug 26, 2020, the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020 was passed in the Dewan Rakyat to increase penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and reckless driving.
According to the Bill, micro-mobility vehicles refers to those powered by electricity, an internal combustion engine, or human power, or human power combined with any of the previously mentioned two with a maximum speed of 50km/h.