Drive to make m-cycle rides safer

At the podium: Dr Wee delivering the member state’s statement at the United Nations high-level meeting in New York. — Photo sourced from Dr Wee’s Facebook page

PETALING JAYA: Addressing safety concerns related to motorcycle users is a main priority for Malaysia in its effort towards achieving its aim of reducing road fatalities by 50% by 2030, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

He said that in line with Malaysia’s commitment under the United Nations 2nd Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2023 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030, all key parties, including state governments, industry players and non-governmental organisations, are collectively working to ensure the culture of road safety is roundly embraced by all strata of society.

“In Malaysia, fatalities from motorcycle users contributed to more than half of the yearly total fatalities from road crashes. Hence, tackling the safety aspect involving motorcycle users has become paramount towards halving road fatalities by 2030,” he said as he delivered the member state’s statement at the United Nations high-level meeting in New York on Thursday.

Dr Wee said the high number of users and almost equal number of motorcycles compared to other motor vehicles on the road pose a huge challenge for the Malaysian government to formulate effective safety policies related to motorcyclists.

“We pay serious attention to the nine recommendations put forward by the academic expert group of the Swedish Transport Administration in their high-level report, especially those related to safer vehicles and proliferation of safer technologies in vehicle construction and infrastructure design,” he said.

“We have seen a very positive impact of the Asean New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) on vehicle manufacturers towards populating Malaysian roads with safer cars day by day.

“We are also working towards making it mandatory for the anti-lock braking system to be installed on all new motorcycle models, initially for 150cc and above, in the next two years,” added Dr Wee.

“We are now putting in place a more focused-driven programme for motorcycle safety under the Malaysia Road Assessment Programme, including emphasising construction of dedicated lanes for motorcycles on new roads.

“In addition, our Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) is also forging close partnerships with many relevant organisations in the Asean region to bring the community together towards achieving the common goal of making road transport safer,” he added.

Dr Wee also noted that all these efforts have been institutionalised in the Malaysia Road Safety Plan 2022-2030 developed by the Transport Ministry with the support of all relevant stakeholders.

“This plan has been prepared in line with the recommendations of the UN through Resolution 74/299, which declared the period of 2021-2030 as the second Global Decade of Action for road safety.

“In addition, targets related to road safety elements as described under the SDG 3.6 and SDG 11.2 have also been adapted in this plan, which encompasses 10 priority areas that have been identified as being most important and significantly reduce the risk of deaths and serious injuries on Malaysian roads,” he said.

Dr Wee also strongly believes that the United Nations SDG 2030, the 2nd Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021–2030, the Global Plan and the academic expert group high-level report will continue to provide a good framework for all stakeholders based on worldwide best practices.

“The adoption of the Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting on Improving Global Road Safety today also reaffirms our collective commitment to international cooperation on road safety,” he said.

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