KUALA LUMPUR: Parents or guardians who allow their children, under the age of 18, to engage in activities involving modified bicycles or “basikal lajak’’ that invite danger can be fined between RM1,000 and RM5,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pix) said the matter was among those contained under the amendments to the Road Transport Act 1987 tabled for the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
“Our purpose is not to punish. If we allow this vehicle (bicycle) without brakes, imagine that an accident will happen anytime soon.
“So that is why we want to make the amendments. Previously, it (the fine) was RM300 but people were not afraid. Now we will tighten (the law) with a heavier punishment. For those under 18 years old, parents and guardians can be punished,“ he said at a press conference after a briefing on the bill to members of the Dewan Rakyat in Parliament yesterday.
‘Basikal Lajak’ came into the spotlight when eight teenage boys died after they were hit by a car at the Middle Ring Road in Johor Baru at 3.20am on Feb 18, 2017. Over the years, there have also been many complaints by motorists of young cyclists riding these modified bicycles recklessly on busy roads.
Meanwhile, Wee also said that individuals who slept at the wheel while driving thus causing an accident and subsequently a death faced stiffer punishment.
He said a driver is subject to the amendments to Section 41 of the relevant act, namely imprisonment of between five and 10 years and a fine of RM20,000 to RM50,000 for the first offence.
Wee said that in the case of a driver who falls asleep at the wheel, it can be categorised as reckless or dangerous driving.
“There’s a phrase ‘memandu secara melulu’ meaning reckless driving. You are also liable, you can be charged ... if it causes death. There will be a penalty waiting for you, so we are serious. If you cannot control a car it means reckless driving,” he said. — Bernama