Monday, December 03, 2012

A Citizen Against Big Bikes on Highways

Encik Mohd Ghazali Osman from Ipoh, Perak wrote to the NST calling for big bikes to be banned from our highways and for big bikers to pay toll (Dec 3 2012).

I think what Encik Mohd Ghazali is really against are convoys of big bikes on highways . He has a point there and I do agree because convoys of big bikes, no matter how well-managed they are on highways do present some nuisance to motorists although I understand that convoys are usually organized in the name of charity.

I do not, however agree that they should be banned from highways because in all those cases mentioned by Encik Mohd Ghazali,  the bikers were not at fault.

The thing is big bikers are generally careful riders and are very safety-conscious -- for themselves and other road-users..

They don't ride and make a nuisance of themselves on the highways, putting others in danger.

I understand his concern, but I don't quite agree.

Here's his letter:

Big and powerful motorcycles are not safe or suitable for Malaysians. You may think I am just making two sweeping statements in one sentence but the facts are there for all to see.

A super biker was involved in a fatal accident. About two weeks ago, another fatal accident happened in the east coast.
Over the years, there have been a number of fatalities involving big bikes. The statistics may be low but even one fatality is a loss to everybody.
Riding in a convoy is a dangerous practice. If the mistake does not occur from outside the convoy, it can happen from within the convoy.
All it takes is for one rider to be careless and a fatality can happen. Since convoys tend to travel very fast there is no way a biker can take evasive action to prevent himself from hitting the bike in front of him.
The size of the bike makes it unsuitable for the physical features of a Malaysian. Most of us have small physiques compared with Americans and Europeans. Although we look smart and macho on these mean machines, that is exactly what they are -- mean machines.
With such powerful engines these bikes can roar off to an explosive start that no ordinary person can handle.
In China, all types of motorbikes are banned from using super highways. They are allowed only on old roads which are equivalent to our old federal roads.
We should do the same, too, as this may reduce accidents among motorcyclists and we know that the highest rate of fatalities involve motorcyclists.
Besides, since they don't pay toll, why should they enjoy the same kind of facilities as those driving cars who pay high toll rates.
I believe that motorists are made to pay a small amount to toll operators for the loss of revenue from motorcyclists.
It is about time motorcyclists are made to pay if they want to use the highways. They may protest against this idea but, it is not fair they get free rides on the highways.

No comments: