This blog has written quite a few articles about the subject of motorcycles before. As a matter of fact, it has been decided that no more time would be expanded on this subject any further.
But, do you know that the issue of motorcycles have become a national problem?
Like ah longs, drug addicts and ‘illegal gambling? The above contention does not belong to me.
I am merely quoting a reader of the Star newspaper, a Mr. Ganesh Balakrishnan of Seremban. The above reader recently wrote in to the Star lamenting, mat Rempits must Be Stopped. He further adds, any further delay in arresting the ‘mat rempit’ or illegal racing problem will cost the country and the people dearly.
The above call has injected an impetus in this writer to decide upon writing a further article on the subject of motorcycles. Today’s article however, is not about mat rempit or illegal motorcycle racing, a scourge facing Malaysia today. Today’s article infact is about the The Consequences of Riding Motorcycles without a Valid License.
I believe the motorcycle is one of man’s greatest and most valuable inventions. However, one should not misuse it. But do not get me wrong. Riding a motorcycle, can be a very dangerous act indeed.
Under the Road Transport Act (RTO) 1987, it is explicitly stated that no one is allowed to handle a motorized vehicle without a valid license. It violates Section 26(1) of the above Ordinance.
Besides the above, the public should also be informed that any person, who is under the age of 16, and is found riding a motorcycle, has indeed committed a very serious traffic offence.
Just recently, I witnessed an extremely shocking incident. I was in reality appalled with what I saw. At the 5th mile Kampung Jawa Road, Klang, a young motorcyclist, hardly no more than 8 years old, was riding a motorcycle on the main road!
Amongst other things that this writer observed, was that the young rider:
i. Was riding shirtless.
ii. Was not donning a helmet as required.
iii. Was obviously too young to be allowed to ride motorcycle at such a tender age.
iv. By riding the motorcycle, the young rider was infact not covered by insurance at all.
Such bizarre incidences unfortunately, can only take place in the kampong or village areas. Not in the towns and cities.
This had led the writer to conclude that the poorer and lesser educated strata of our village or kampong society are ignorant of the country’s laws. Or that, they possess a laisez faire attitude towards the dangers of riding motorcycles without licenses.
There exists a contention amongst insurance circles, that to ride a motorcycle without a valid license, is in reality riding with no insurance coverage at all.
Do the parents of young motorcycle riders of 8 years or less, realize what will happen if the boy meets with an accident and is killed eventually? The young rider would then have died ala mati katak. Or in plain English, a senseless death. The boy referred to is not entitled to any form of a insurance claims at all!
Parents and families should think about this seriously. This blog writer hopes parents who permit their young children to ride motorcycles without a valid license, are indeed doing a disservice to their children.
They can be likened to providing a license which edges towards their children’s demise. This is indeed a frightening thought.
Therefore to all parents out there in the kampongs or villages, ponder ever carefully what I have reiterated in this article. And stop your young children riding your motorcycles NOW!
Your children are still young. They have the opportunity to grow up to become useful men and women of our society. But only if you fail your duty correctly as a responsible parent. And if you fail your duty expected of you, you will infact be sending your children to their graves early instead. You would then have failed in discharging your duties.
How can such a problem be addressed?
Without a doubt, the issue of riding motorcycles by underaged boys is a problem that is going to be difficult to overcome. Like the mat rempit or illegal racing problem, we have to face the fact that it has now become a national scourge.
Some of the steps that can ideally be followed are:-
i. Concerted efforts by Penghulus (Village Chiefs) and other community leaders including teachers be garnered to arrest this problem be evolved
The above mentioned people, such as penghulus, community leaders and teachers can play an important role. Young children caught in the act of riding a motorcycle illegally, should be reprimanded severely. Talks should be held periodically to advise young people regarding this dangerous habit.
ii. The police authorities and Road Transport Department Personnel should step the onslaught against young underaged persons who attempt to ride motorcycles illegally
The police, as well as the JPJ or Road Transport Department officers rarely conduct operations in villages and kampong areas. This blog suggests that in future, such measures be taken to stem out these unwarranted activities of motorcycle riding by underaged riders.
iii. Stern measures should be taken against parents who allow their underaged children to ride motorcycles
The present fines and penalties imposed upon wrongdoers appear to be too lenient. Heavier fines should be imposed. Underaged riders who commit such crimes, should be sent to juvenile courts and thence sent to remedial schools for retention. Their machines should then be confiscated.
Parents should themselves be fined and sent to prison if the need arises. Of course, our country’s laws will first have to be alteres if such drastic actions are to be atken. But the point is, can such suggestions be implemented? Will the government even consider then at all in the first place?
It all boils down to whether we want to do it or otherwise. As the saying goes, if there’s a will, there’s always a way.
iv. Ban underaged riders from getting a license for life
Underaged riders who ride motorcycles illegally, should be banned for life in trying to secure a motorcycle license or for that matter, any form of driving license in the future. This, I believe, will be a strong deterent in preventing illegal riding of motorcycles by the young and underaged riders. My suggestion might appear to be harsh. But it has to be implemented. We do not have any other alternative left.
The above represents some of me suggestion to rid our country with regards to eliminating of the perpetual problem of riding motorcycles either underaged or without a valid riding license. As the popular saying goes, spare the rod or spoil the child. Which does the authorities, the police, the RTD or the government wish to yield, is entirely up to them! The ball, as they say , is now in their court!
Finally, the tourists who visit our country and witness the dangerous acts of our underaged riders riding motorcycles on our roads and the dangerous antics of our illegal racers, may discourage others from visiting our country. Such people may identify our country, Malaysia as being unsafe. Such a feeling cannot totally be denied. Some of us are already feeling this way when we travel on our roads these days.
We have come to a stage, whereby it is no longer a joy to drive on our roads any longer. Believe it or not, it has become extremely Dangerous!
This article would like to end by appealing to those responsible to stop the mat rempit menace and the riding of motorcycle illegally by young, underaged riders!
Who invented the first motorcycle, I am not aware. But who was the inventor of the first bicycle? That, I’m quite certain is J.K. Starley.
The bicycle, history tells me, was invented during the Industrial Revolution in the mid 19th century.
As a young boy, I still remember very clearly a few brands of well known brands of bikes such as Raleigh, Robin Hood and Sunbeam.
In the alter 1950s and early 1960s, bicycle were sold at around the prices of RM150 and RM250 each. For those who are not aware, every bicycle has an individual number of its own. As such, if your bicycle should be stolen, you can always lodge a complain at the local police station.
And where you may wish to know, is the above number located?
The individual number is embossed on the metal bar which holds up the bicycle’s seat.
Do you know that there are specifically 2 varieties of bicycle?
One for the ladies and the other for the boys or men. And how do you go about distinguishing them?
The men folks bicycles have a cross-bar, which stretches across from the seat to the handle-bar of the bicycle. In reality, one could seat a friend on this bar. Nonetheless, since young, my elders have always advised me that it is an offence permitting a pal or a friend to sit in the above position.
Well then, what about the ladies bicycles?
Ladies bikes, if you should observe it carefully, are built slightly different from gentleman’s bikes as they call it. The ladies bike are built with V shape metal contraptions which connects up the bikes framework.
A bicycle, which is built in such a way, easily allows a lady, especially one who is wearing a skirt to lift her legs across to the other side of the bike in her attempts to get astride a bicycle.
In this manner, a ladies modesty is therefore preserved. Think about it and you’ll surely agree with what I am referring to.
Speaking about bicycles, it would only be fair if mention is made of another type of bicycle which is available in Malaysia. People call it a gentleman’s bike.
This bicycle is in reality meant for adults or gentlemen, so to speak. Tall men seem to prefer such bicycles. They are larger in size and much heavier than normal bikes.
Without a doubt, these bikes costs a lot more money than other smaller bikes. I remember quite vividly my paternal grandfather, Ong Hock Chuan, a well-known auctioneer, owning one such a bicycle. The bicycle in question was not only huge, it was also strong.
And of course, my elder brother and myself always found it difficult to handle it. My grandfather, finally sold this gentleman’s bike to my father for RM300 in the 1960s. My grandfather, who was then in his 70’s, had by then contacted Parkinson’s disease and his hands were trembling. My grandmother eventually felt it was no longer advisable for my grandfather to ride a bike then.
In the early 1960’s, a new form of bicycle was introduced. It was as the Chinese says, half a bicycle and half a motorbike. It was called a moped. I still remember my uncle, Ong Han Leong, who was formerly attached to the East Asiatic Company at Port Klang , riding his moped to our house in Telok Pulai, Klang.
My uncle would ride his moped, when he discovered the machine running low on fuel. I was about 13 or 14 years old then. I was pretty intrigued by the machine at that time.
In the later years following, our country saw the introduction of racing bicycles into the market. Racing bicycles were quite costly. They were however light as they we made of alluminium.
Racing bicycles could go fast as they had gears mechanism. On of top of that, racing bicycles come in bright and attractive colours.
But the above were not the only types of bicycles available in our country. In the early fifties and sixties, trishaws, which were in reality 3 wheeled bicycles, became rather popular in the small towns and kampung areas.
It was said, Penang, which is popularly known as the Pearl of The Orient, mushroomed with trishaws. It became a cheap and popular means of transport with the lower strata of our society.
As I recall, as a young lad, I can still remember distinctly 3 trishaw riders. One was Yunos, the son of Cik Mah, a kuih seller, living in Kampung Bengkali, near Teluk Pulai. Then there was a Sikh trishaw rider named Ranjit, living in Kampung Ponnusamy in Teluk Pulai too.
And finally, trishaw rider, Khee Kang, who was a Peranakan by descent and also a distant relative of mine, should also be made mention of.
It should be reiterated here that the majority of trishaw riders are hard working people who live a rather frugal life.
In Melaka, trishaws which are brightly coloured and decorated with a variety of flags and buntings, still attract foreign tourists who throng the historical city. Penang, mentioned earlier, still possess its fair share of trishaws too. They are indeed very popular amongst foreign tourists even up to this day.
In one of my earlier article, I talked about electric bicycle and how I hope the government will not make the wrong choice of banning the so called electric bicycle. The electric bicycle is infact a boon, an assistance to the older folks, pensioners, kampung folks and especially who may have suffered physical deformities, including those who were born handicapped.
The electric bicycle is indeed a great help to the above group of people. Banning its use would certainly cause much despair to many people, who depend on it as a valuable means of transport.
The humble bicycle is pollution free. Think about its advantages. The government should infact be encouraging people to ride bicycle more. It gives riders good exercise.
Besides, the use of bicycles will lessen traffic jams and environmental pollution. It would go a long way to create a cleaner and healthier atmosphere which we all need. Viva to the bicycles! Why not get one today?
Good parents, especially a father should ideally set good examples for their children to follow. In the Malay language, there is a famous saying, “Seperti ketam menyuruh anaknya jalan betul”. Literally translated the above idiom simply means, “A crab asking its young ones to walk straight”.
Well, an impossible task, won’t you agree?
I was at a cross-junction not too long ago, waiting for the traffic lights to turn green. The light on my side was red. And obviously, I stopped and waited.
After all, I do not wish to be caught beating the red traffic light anyway. For those readers who are unaware, it’s a hefty RM300 fine for being indiscipline and committing a traffic light offence.
After all, to a wage earner, and a low one at that, the above sum will go a long way to contributing toward lightening ones expense towards his family.
A person, it is my opinion, opts to ride a motorcycle, not because he likes it. Who on earth would prefer to straddle a motorcycle than to drive a car instead?
As reiterated, riding motors represents something that is very dangerous. With such traffic congestions that clog our roads these days, a motorcycle rider has to constantly be on guard to ensure his safety and that of his pillion rider.
Before I should stray too far way from today’s topic in question, let us go back to my original motive of writing this article.
As I stated earlier on, the traffic lights on my side of the road was red. As I stopped, a few motorcycle riders, some old and some middle aged, came rushing along towards the traffic lights.
Some stopped to observe the traffic lights. A few however gathered speed and sped along dangerously across the road. Traffic on the opposite side were at green. Cars were seen coming out of the junction ahead and turning right.
It was at this junction that I witnessed something which I feel should not have happened.
An Indian motorcycle rider, who was ferrying his teenage son behind him, then came along. Instead of stopping for the traffic light, this man unfortunately choose to ignore it instead. As a responsible father, he should have set a better example for his son to follow.
But he did not, what poor discipline!
I was in reality rather appalled with what the middle aged Indian man did. Immediately after the above incident happened, a traffic police, also riding a motorcycle, also sped across. Malaysian traffic cops as you know are dressed in dark trousers and white uniform.
Before I could utter, “What’s happening”, it suddenly dawned on me that the cop was infact chasing after the Indian motorcycle rider who had chosen to beat the red traffic light then.
By now, the offending motorcycle rider was almost 50 yards away. My contention of the traffic police intention were indeed right. The cop then put out his left hand, signaling the Indian motorcycle rider to stop at the side of the road.
Your guess is as good as mine. The offender has been pulled up for committing a serious and dangerous offence. Serves the rider right.
Readers should know what a traffic policeman’s duty is. They patrol our roads to see to it that Malaysian drivers and riders obey the traffic rules and regulations. It’s for our own safety.
And not let’s come to the question of how one settles a traffic light offence that which has been committed by the Indian motorcycle rider mentioned earlier.
It is my opinion that the police cop would be handling the offender a summons. Will the cop listen to appeals made?
I do not think so. After all, an offender should be taught a lesson.
In this article, no attempts will be made to cut corners or hide anything from readers. Facts are facts. They have to be disclosed.
A person who has committed a traffic offense can of course choose to settle the matter. The motorcycle rider can also very well decide whether he choose to attend court or otherwise. I will however abstain from telling you how the Malaysian traffic offences can be waived or settled. Readers are not so naïve, I believe.
The traffic policeman’s action upon the motorcycle rider who committed the traffic light offence that I witness along the road is something which shall be continued by the police. Motorcycle riders who choose to beat the traffic lights and thereby endanger other road users, should never be condoned. They should be fined.
Those who receive summonses, especially police ones, can now pay such summonses on-line. Early payment (within a week), is available at only RM150. Delay longer, and you will end up paying more.
Talking about summonses, the authorities say 1.7 million traffic offenders are wanted for not settling their summonses. It may not be possible to arrest them all at once, but police say, the time has arrived to take stern action.
The police are going after a few hundred thousand offenders at a time. Operation Cantas Traffic has begun. Those who have summonses to settle, beware! The police, in their road blocks, will be out to get you.