PUTRAJAYA: A directive will be issued to the authorities to allow the disabled on micromobility vehicles to use bicycle lanes and to cross roads even where there are no zebra crossings, says the Transport Minister.
“My assurance here isn’t verbal and I will issue an order to the authorities that the disabled are allowed to use our roads for crossing purposes.
“From day one, it is not a problem,” Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong told a press conference after an engagement session with leaders of the disabled community at his ministry here yesterday.
He said the disabled will be given the green light to use micromobility vehicles on bicycle lanes at roads, but said they will not be allowed to ride on road sections designated for other vehicles such as cars and trucks.
“If there is a bicycle lane, no problem, use it on the bicycle lane. But if it’s on the road, riding alongside other vehicles such as cars and lorries will not be allowed.
“If there is an accident, it could bring trouble to other road users,” he explained after the session that was led by Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Mohd Radzi.
Dr Wee gave a scenario of the disabled being faced with a situation where they had to cross roads without zebra crossings.
“I know not all places have that facility (zebra crossing). What if there are also pedestrian bridges? It will be impossible for the disabled to ride up.
“The only way to move forward is by crossing the road. Therefore, we allow the disabled to cross roads,” he said, while urging the public and authorities to be mindful of the disabled crossing roads on micromobility vehicles.
The minister said the new policy will take effect immediately following the engagement session, adding that a clarification was needed as his announcement on banning escooters and mopeds might have confused the disabled community.
Ras Adiba, a wheelchair user, thanked Dr Wee for the briefing and urged the disabled to stick to the rules when using their micromobility vehicles on the road.
“The minister also gave us an assurance that the disabled will not be fined or stopped for using micromobility vehicles,” she added.
Dr Wee also said that guardians of the disabled were allowed to renew their road taxes for free.
“We know there are disabled persons with financial difficulties and they have to be cared for by their family members or a guardian. In this context, we will give free road tax to those who look after the disabled.
“We allow the names of parents or guardians to be registered (for free road tax), as long as it’s used for the disabled,” he said.
Dr Wee also announced that the disabled community will have a representative sitting in the board of directors of the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), so that future transport matters will take into account the views of the disabled.
On Tuesday, Dr Wee announced that mopeds, escooters, skateboards and motorised wheelchairs were among micromobility vehicles that were banned on public roads with immediate effect.