“When asked by my colleagues abroad, I must admit, it is a classic incompetence of those who appoint and others appointed when they have passed their shelf life for active service and being recycled to and fro for political expediency?”
WHO’S REGULATING THE BEHAVIOR OF MOTORCYCLIST IN MALAYSIA ASK MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE?
This Chinese New Year vacation drive many may die and others may be seriously injured!
It is a fact – the topic of blunt jokes in Malaysia when addressing the whole question of the usage of the roads and highways fatalities!
I have to acknowledge that despite screaming shouting and writing articles and addressing the issues of fatalities on our highways in media talk shows for over 40 years, nothing much has happened!
I have given up on those expected to initiate, update legislative measures to make our roads safer with updated and punitive sanctions to rein in those reckless and defiant who make our usage of roads simply dangerous.
The statistics of accidents and of fatalities speaks for themselves!
From heavy vehicles, commuter and tourist buses, super timber trucks and over-loaded vehicles with questionable and inferior retreaded tires, many which should never be on the road but are and in many cases allegedly driven by those who are candidates of substance or drug abuse contributing to the road carnage!
Yes, there are checks – which are seasonal like beginning of the school calendar year, just before festivities, other occasions or post fatalities, where fatalities were foreigners here on holidays using our transport system which therein received negative international media coverage?
Which raises other issues as well on the real motivations of such half-baked actions?
In fact, it is acknowledged that it takes huge bloody fatalities and consumer backlash to get intervention.
When asked by my colleagues abroad, I must admit, it is a classic incompetence of those who appoint and others appointed when they have passed their shelf life for active service and being recycled to and fro for political expediency?
Today the 5th of February 2019, I challenge the powers that be!
Conduct a nationwide drug test on those behind the big wheels from buses, Lorries, timber trucks, heavy loaders and commuter buses without notice and see if these observations are true?
But the specific area that I want to address this February 5th today is who regulates the two wheeler?
Both heavy and light that is on the roads and a law unto themselves.
According to the sources there are 35 times more deaths from motorcycle accidents than from car accidents.
One would have thought that based on this perception and alarming statistics, it pays for motorcyclists to learn about the most frequent causes of accidents and then use this information to reduce their level of risk.
But the opposite seems to be happening.
It is stated that in many jurisdictions, accidents involving motorcycles and other vehicles account for 56% of motorcycle accident deaths.
In the vast majority of these accidents, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front –78% of the time.
The car strikes the motorcycle from the rear only 5% of the time.
Head-on collisions between a car and motorcycle are often fatal to the motorcyclist.
The single most dangerous situation for motorcyclists occurs when cars are making left or right-hand turns.
These collisions account for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and car.
Usually, the turning car strikes the motorcycle when the motorcycle is going straight through an intersection or passing the car or trying to overtake the car.
These types of accidents are common between two cars as well, but the motorcycle’s smaller size makes it even less visible to the turning vehicle.
We all have a blind side and this gets worse when some wear attire that hinders one’s optics in today’s fast moving highways!
Motorcycles that pass cars within the same lane are even more vulnerable!
Vehicle drivers do not expect, and are often surprised by, such motorcycle maneuvers.
Almost always, a vehicle that hits another vehicle while making a left-hand turn will be found at fault for the accident.
However, if the motorcyclist was speeding or in the wrong lane, or riding dangerously ‘zig zag’ between a long line of cars recklessly, why blame the motorist?
I call these a dangerous lane splitting exercise when a motorcycle drives between two lanes or more of stopped or slowly moving cars, usually in traffic jams usually damaging the cars as well!
Lane splitting is a common cause of motorcycle accidents due to several factors as the close proximity of the cars to the motorcycle, the space the motorcycle has to maneuver, and the fact that the cars do not anticipate that any vehicle or motorcycle will be passing them in slowed or stopped traffic.
If an accident occurs while a motorcycle is lane splitting it must be clear that such an act is reckless and unsafe putting all parties at risk!
There are also cases where these accidents involving a single motorcycle are caused by speeding or alcohol use.
Many of these motorbikes are also not insured neither have road or their rider a valid license!
I just cannot understand the mental psyche of motorcycles riders as despite knowledge that they face higher dangers from road hazards than do cars and other vehicles, due to the smaller size and less stable nature of the motorcycle, potholes, dead animals, slick pavement conditions, uneven heights between lanes, and other irregularities or unexpected objects in the road pose a serious safety threat to them they still pay no heed.
Then of late, we have the growing usage of high performance motorcycles, although comprising a small portion of the overall number of motorcycles on the road, they account for a disproportionate number of motorcycle accidents.
These motorcycles fall into two categories: super sport motorcycles, heavy-duty and sport motorcycles.
Many are further modified but the pertinent question is whether these machines which are built on racing platforms are safe when abused?
While the majority who ride them or in convoys do so with care, there have been cases in the past, where many others are reckless and intimidate other road and highway users!
We are not just talking about the north South, East West highways but even city roads and of late, the federal highway where in the past they were banned and picked up for being a risk to themselves and others when they refuse to take the designated motorcycle lane already built and in use.
Today, the federal highway is a free for all for all brands of two wheeler, amidst allegations that this is because many are riding without licenses, insurance, road tax and others, being undocumented foreigners and criminals!