KUALA LUMPUR: Road safety experts called upon the Transport Ministry to study the proposal involving automatic upgrade from B2 class motorcycle driving licence to a B licence as it involves both the motorcyclists and society's safety.
The Alliance for Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said that implementing an automatic upgrade may result in serious implications, as the current road fatalities rate have already involved a high number of motorcyclists who perished on the road.
He said the current driving test required for motorcycle licence upgrade is crucial as it will equip the motorcyclist with better knowledge on how to handle bigger specs of motorcycle.
"These days we are looking at about 6,000 to 7,000 cases of road fatalities per year where more than 68 per cent of these cases involve motorcyclists.
"So, if this automatic upgrade is allowed and implemented, it will create a serious implication to both motorcyclists and the society.
"Therefore, the Transport Ministry has to study this proposal very carefully, especially since it involves the public's safety," he said.
The head of Road Safety Research Centre associate professor Dr Law Teik Hua agreed with Lee's opinion, where he said that society is put to face higher risk if the ministry decided to go ahead with the automatic upgrade.
"I cannot even see the rationale or benefits behind these policy changes. Perhaps it is good news for the motorcycle's riders but what is the benefit for the society?
"In order to make sure the motorcyclists know what they are handling, it is better to go through the exams and the usual procedures in getting the full B licence.
"(Even) by the laws of physics, if you are hit with a big bike, the chances of you getting killed is higher than when you get hit by a smaller bike.
"And furthermore, we are already facing many road deaths issues, which commonly involve motorcyclists. And this issue still remains unsolved. This is a much more pressing matter at hand now," he said when contacted by NST today.
He said so in respond to the recent news report where Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the proposal for an automatic upgrade for B2 class to B licence will be brought to Transport Ministry for initial examination (insert hyperlinks: https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2023/08/947915/transport-ministry-rev...).
Instead of introducing this policy, Dr Law said the ministry should review and update its existing road transport syllabus required for car and motor licences.
"If our current syllabus is sufficient, how come we still have so many accidents happening? So, the numbers show that perhaps the syllabus was sufficient back then when you don't have high motorisation levels, but times have changed.
"If the exam syllabus does not go side by side with the current rapid development, especially involving transportation, then that means the ministry has to do something about this.
"The current syllabus only ensures that you are good enough to drive a car or ride motorcycles but there is still no module to ensure you are safe enough to operate these vehicles," he said.