Loke: Not practical to ban kapchais in Malaysia

In 2017, former Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor suggested small displacement motorcycles, known to Malaysians as kapchais, be forbidden from entering Kuala Lumpur city centre. This was Adnan’s measure to reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the city.

However, Transport minister Anthony Loke is of the opinion such a measure was not practical even though there have been calls by some NGOs for it to be implemented. “We have to assess the practicality of such a measure considering the majority of riders use kapchais, estimated to be 16 million registered machines,” said Loke.

“The livelihoods of many will be affected if we ban those types of motorcycles and I see it as being difficult to implement,” Loke said in a The Star report. He added electric motorcycles could be considered as an alternative despite the speed and range of such e-bikes being low and slow.

Additionally, Loke said there are no plans to ban kapchais from using the toll highways. This was in answer to Member of Parliament for GPS-Petra Jaya Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof’s question in the Dewan Rakyat as to whether the Transport ministry’s stand on a suggestion to replace kapchais with vehicles that are safer in an effort to reduce fatal accidents.

Loke also said a suggestion to construct separate lanes for motorcycles was forwarded in the 12th Malaysia Plan. The lanes should be constructed in areas that are dangerous to motorcycles as well as in districts with high road accident statistics.

“The Transport ministry with MIROS and JKJR is recommending road safety move towards having separate motorcycle lanes despite it being expensive if it is just to construct one lane,” said Loke in his oral reply. In a related matter, Loke said police accident statistics showed youth between the ages of 16 to 30 comprised of the highest number of fatalities in road accidents. “In 2016, the number of youth who died was 2,818 and this number declined to 2,693 in 2017. In 2018, 2,449 youth died in accidents,” Loke said.

Citing a Bernama report, Loke elaborated that of the 2,693 fatal accidents involving youth in 2017, 72% of them died while riding or pillioning a motorcycle. This was in reply to the original question by Member of Parliament for PH-Lembah Pantai Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil requesting data on the number of youth involved in fatal accidents between 2016 and 2018.

Loke also said MIROS is conducting programmes and activities to raise the level of road safety awareness amongst motorcyclists. Among these are intervention programmes such as My Safe Road, Commuting Support Safety Programme and the Motorcycle Safety and Technology Symposium.

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