THE accident that killed eight boys riding mosquito (modified) bicycles in Johor Baru last Saturday has led to different reactions.
Some quarters have pressed for the victims’ families to be charged with negligence under the Child Act 2001.
While expressing our condolences to the families involved, we should look at the socio-economic factor that caused this incident, including the reason why these groups exist.
Finger-pointing will not solve the problem.
We must learn from the tragedy to prevent its recurrence, which is possible only if people ensured the safety of children.
We should not ban teenagers from cycling as it is a healthy activity that can stop them from getting involved in drugs.
However, cycling activities must be subjected to supervision and compliance with safety requirements:
THE authorities should make it compulsory for cyclists to wear safety helmets and install beacon lights on their bicycles;
YOUNG cyclists must be given guidelines and assistance to continue with their activities;
SIGNS should be installed in streets that have bicycle lanes while safety barriers must be used to mark bicycle zones;
FEDERAL and state governments should build special venues for bicycle enthusiasts, while more cycling competitions should be held for them to participate;
MORE activities and competitions should be organised for youth, including E-sports, or virtual sport competitions. Such activities should suit their needs rather than stakeholders;
ENFORCE the rule of road safety hierarchy where the most vulnerable road users should be cared and protected.
This will ensure that drivers of bigger vehicles will be more considerate to those who ride motorcycles or bicycles and also pedestrians;
A SAFETY system should be installed to create a warning system for road users. For example, sensors can be installed in high-risk zones to warn motorists of other road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians;
AS for enforcement, police and local authorities should monitor areas frequented by young cyclists and arrest those who stay there till late;
PARENTS must be compelled to fetch their children after attending a counselling session with their children at police stations or Welfare Departments; and,
FOR repeat offenders, they should
be sentenced to do community work while their bicycles should be confiscated.
We must inculcate a preventive culture in people, rather than a reactive approach, where those responsible take action only when there are accidents.
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE