Mandate defensive riding course for motorcyclists

LETTERS: To many young people, riding a motorcycle is an adventurous and an exhilarating experience. However, it can also be dangerous.

Studies in the United States estimate that motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than people in a car.

In Malaysia, 70 out of every 100 road deaths involve motorcycle riders.

In 2023, 6,344 people were killed in road accidents nationwide. More than 4,000 of these deaths involved motorcyclists.

It also means that an average of one motorcycle rider is killed every two hours, and we should be worried.

A concerted effort is required to reduce the fatalities.

Many people ride motorcyles as part of their work, such as food delivery and courier riders, postal workers, meter readers and enforcement officers.

Their deaths result in the loss of valuable human resources, thus, safety of motorcycle riders must be prioritised by employers.

Young motorcycle riders appear in a hurry most of the time. We can see that they have no patience waiting for the traffic light to change.

It is as if they only recognise one colour at the traffic light — green. Due to their impatience, they will find ways to get around the traffic.

Employers should be obliged to manage the safety of staff who use motorcycles in their work duties or travel to and from the workplace.

Motorcycle safety encompasses rider behaviour, vehicle maintenance and compliance with traffic laws.

The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), which conducts training on defensive driving, announced in February this year that it was introducing defensive riding courses for motorcyclists.

Perhaps the Transport Ministry could mandate that all future motorcycle riders attend the Miros defensive riding course as a condition for granting them a driving licence.

As Miros is an agency under the Transport Ministry, motorcycle riding training centres could be set up in towns where there is a Road Transport Department office.

Motorcyclists should be required to attend defensive riding training when they renew their licence.

Malaysia has the highest rate of road fatalities per 100,000 population among Asean countries. We must do everything within our means to save the lives of our young riders.


Petaling Jaya, Selangor

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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