A new danger on the roads

20 Oct 2014 / 00:26 H.

PETALING JAYA: Cyclists, especially youngsters on trendy bicycles, riding three or four abreast are a common sight these days and they seem to have little care about the danger they are putting themselves and other road users in – police statistics are proof of this.
According to the Royal Malaysian Police, 360 cases involving cyclists were recorded in 2012, resulting in 156 deaths.
So far this year, the number has gone up to 387 cases with 151 deaths.
K. Balasupramaniam, president of Road Safety Marshal Club (RSMC), said cycling is now seen as a hip, environment-friendly trend.
"As such not many are concerned about the proper safety requirements while riding bicycles," he said, adding that cyclists are also bound by traffic rules.
"Up till the 1970s people had to get licences for their bicycles and the government even implemented special bicycle regulations," Bala said.
He said to reduce accidents caused by cyclists, the authorities should consider creating bicycle trails for recreational use and designated street lanes for bicycles.
Bala said RSMC has organised many bicycle safety campaigns and has tried to create awareness similar to what has been done for motorists.
"Appropriate headgear is important as bicycle riders who go without head protection are roughly three times more likely to suffer head injuries in a crash.
"A cyclist who sustains a head injury is also some 20 times more likely to die than a rider who suffers other kinds of injury," he added.
Meanwhile, a Road Transport Department spokesman highlighted that there are no specific traffic rules covering cyclists.
He said the Road Transport Act 1987 is only applicable to vehicles with engines and cyclists more likely come under the pedestrian category.


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