Some 20 years ago, an immediate neighbor of mine, Ah Choy, a mechanic, lost his one and only son, a 16 year old boy, in a motorcycle accident, which took place along Jalan Watson, Pelabuhan Klang.
In another motorcycle accident which I can still vividly recall, my wife’s 3rd uncle, took to riding a Vespa scooter oneday. As luck had it, a friend had borrowed the above mentioned person’s vehicle, to carry out an errand that fateful day. My wife’s 3rd uncle possesses valid motorcycle license. But in reality, he had not ridden a motorcycle for quite some time. Which ascending down a road near Jalan Kota, or Fort Road, a bus Mara crashed into him. He was unfortunately killed instantly.
Way back in the 1980’s, I still recall, the elder brother of a colleague, a Miss Chong, who hails from nearby Eng Ann Housing Estate in Klang, was said to have been riding a large 500c.c. “superbike” down south from Singapore. A large Petronas oil tanker graced the above rider’s handle bars near Gemas town in Johore. This incident caused the superbike to fall onto the ground and into the path of the oncoming large tanker. He suffered massive injuries and he died instantly.
There are many accidents involving motorcyclists which this writer can relate. In fact, the stories of such incidences would be endless if I were to relate them.
As a driving instructor who has been involved in the driving school business for well over 40 years now, I have time and again implored that the authorities take immediate steps to raise the minimum age of securing a motorcycle license, from 16 to a minimum age of at least 18. With such steps, hopefully a few young lives could be saved. But unfortunately, the above call has fallen upon deaf ears. The authorities, for reasons unknown, have chosen to ignore such pleas.
JPJ Director-General, Datuk Solah Mat Hassan, announced the authorities will from hence forth take stern actions upon motorcyclists. It seems that the authorities are said to be very concerned with the high number of total accidents involving motorcyclists and their pillion riders.
According to Datuk Solah, the JPJ Director-general, in the past 3 years, some 12,000 motorcyclists and pillion riders have died in road accidents so far.
The government’s directive to all driving institutes made nearly a year ago, which lowered the cost of securing a B2 (below 250c.c.) motorcycle driving license from approximately RM 350- RM 400, to a mandatory RM 205, can very likely be said to be a cause for the 12,000 deaths which the motorcyclists sustained.
Would it not be a wiser move, for the government to allow the cost of securing a B2 motorcycle driving license, be pegged at RM 350- RM 400. By lowering the cost of getting a B2 motorcycle to RM 205, it has led to more and more youths being able to secure a riding license at such a tender age. Hence, the 12,000 road deaths suffered by motorcyclists can be said to contribute as a result of the authorities unwise decision.
Before we continue to investigate in more detail why motorcyclists in Malaysia sustain such a high rate of fatalities, as compared to other road users, it should be reiterated that as it is, motorcyclists are currently posing the authorities, namely the police, and the Road Transport Authorities, with a massive headache, which up to now the government has failed to overcome. The problem is none other that of “merempit motor” or “illegal motorcycle racing”.
Section 81 of the Road Traffic Ordinance (RTO) 1987, clearly spells out that “illegal motorcycle” racing is indeed a serious offence. Stern punishments such as a RM 2000 fine, withdraw of licenses and even confiscation of machines, have all failed to deter mat rempit enthusiast from participating in illegal races so far.
Amongst other things, what “wrongs” have motorcycle riders of Malaysia contravened?
Permit me to disclose to readers the “sins” that motorcyclists have thus committed so far:
1) Motorcyclists and their pillion riders fail to wear safety helmets. It is said that many of them have since died in accidents. The authorities say, a safety helmet costs only RM 50. There is no reason or excuse for motorcyclists and their pillion riders not to wear one and put their lives at risk.
2) Motorcyclists are also reported to be using “mobile phones” or “hand phones” whilst riding too.
3) Overtaking on the left, which is indeed very dangerous offence indeed.
4) Tail gating other motorists.
5) And of cause, “speeding”.
6) Motorcyclists are also very fond of making illegal “U” turns.
7) Failing to stop at “pedestrian” crossings.
8) Parking their machines at “fire hydrants” and “bus stops”.
9) “Hogging” the right lane.
10) The failure to produce their licenses for inspection when asked to do so by the authorities, that is the police and the Road Transport authorities.
With the latest announcement, the new regulations will be met by stern and high fines. Furthermore, many of the offences which are contravened by motorcyclists, will no longer be accorded discounts or rebates. Previously, motorcyclists were given discounts ranging from RM 70 – RM 100. This will no longer be the case when the new rules and regulations are implemented in the very near future.
The decision by the authorities to improve the maximum fine of RM 300 on errant motorcyclists, hopefully will go on to reduce the high rate of accidents and deaths amongst our motorcycle riding youths of our nation.
The authorities thus far has been too lenient in dealing with motorcyclists. It is about time some “serious” actions be taken against them! I applaud the government’s serious decision this time around!
RAPID, which runs a large fleet of buses in the Klang Valley, recently had its LRT system breakdown in September 2014.
To be fair, the LRT or light rail transit system should be in fact commended. To say that Rapid’s LRT has made the lives of commuters in and around Kuala Lumpur much more bearable these days, is something which cannot be denied.
Allow me to tell you a little bit about the above system. The LRT is cheap. Its air-condition system is cold and comfortable. Schedules are prompt and in my opinion its prices low and affordable too. As such, if you wish to avoid the hectic and maddening jams of the notorious Federal Highway as you travel on your way to our capital of Kuala Lumpur, why not try the trains of Rapid’s Light Rail Transport (LRT) system one of these days.
Do you know that the LRT trains run from Kelana Jaya to Putra Gombak? Soon, another system is being constructed into Subang Jaya.
But what happened to the LRT system one day in September 2014 recently is something which I would like to forget about.
On the above day in question, your sincerely, got down from his usual yellow or ‘canary’ coloured Causeway Link bus near Hilton Hotel in Petaling Jaya. The Federal Highway that hot afternoon was more or less quite congested. So I made the wise or perhaps rather ‘stupid’ decision to take the LRT train instead.
Upon entering the Asia Jaya station in front of the Armada Hotel in Petaling Jaya, an announcement was heard saying, “There was been an unscheduled delay at the Masjid Jamek interchange.” Well, at first I thought this was something usual that afternoon. What a surprise this turned out to be!
Before proceeding any further with this article, permit me to enlighten blog readers about the LRT system which in reality runs from Kelana Jaya to Terminal Gombak. The above journey normally takes approximately an hour. However, the above journey that fateful day in September, unfortunately turned LRT into what can be termed as ‘Life is a Real Torture’ instead!
First and foremost, instead of a 5 or 10 minute arrival of trains, the LRT train from Kelana Jaya arrived about 30 minutes late. After about 50 to 100 passengers had embarked, the train waited for another half an hour instead. The LRT finally managed to take off for the next station, being the Taman Jaya station. Mind you, the above is less than a kilometre away.
What surprised commuters was, at each and every LRT station where the train stropped, more and more commuters embarked onto the train. And what was more surprising, the LRT was now becoming sardine-packed. Conditions were beginning to become more unbearable. People were becoming noticeably annoyed. At each and every sub-station that it halted, the LRT train was delayed there for at least half an hour or more.
All in all, I stood all the way, hanging onto the straps of the LRT from 1.30 pm to the KL Sentral station at 4.30 pm. And mind you, Petaling Jaya to KL Sentral is less than 5 or 6 kilometres away. What usually took less than 15 minutes journey, had taken a torturous 4 hours! On the day the LRT breakdown occurred, I was in fact heading towards the Putra Gombak terminal station.
No one, I believe, holds the LRT management, that is RAPID, responsible. After all, breakdowns occur. It is part and parcel of any transport system after all, isn’t it?
But the RAPID management could have at least taken steps to eliminate commuters’ woes and sufferings. What would I like to suggest? It is hoped the authorities would seriously be taking suggestions and views of commuters into due consideration. Breakdowns and unscheduled delays are bound to occur in the near future.
Amongst the suggestions that can be taken into consideration, in that the RAPID management could station personnel at the entrance of all LRT sub-stations to deter commuters from entering its premise, thereby preventing worsening of its congested LRT trains. At least, steps such as these should be taken until the situation improved.
How did the writer finally solve his predicament, which he called ‘Life is a Real Torture’ (LRT) event that particular day in question?
Well, I decided to abort my journey to Putra Gombak. And he was wise enough to disembark at the Pasar Seni sub-station near Central Market. It was already 4.30 or 5 pm. With legs weary and the possibility of a fainting spell setting in, I headed quickly to the nearest Chinese restaurant nearby for a much needed drink and a hot bowl of kuey teow and bebola soup.
The LRT journey in September recently can rightfully be termed as ‘Life is a Real Torture’ (LRT) incident. Has the above unfortunate incident deterred me from using the LRT trains in the future?
Frankly, I would like to say, not at all. Guess it’s only a part of life after all!
The LRT system in the Klang Valley is here to stay. To the RAPID management which is responsible for the above mentioned light rail system, do not be dismayed. You, have in fact run a fantastic and wonderful service, as a whole!
Soal samada lampu depan kenderaan jenis “H.I.D” (High Intensity Discharge) sah digunakan di Malaysia ataupun tidak sudah lama dipertikaikan. Lampu jenis tersebut di atas atau “xenon” telah digunakan dengan “leluasa” pada masa kini.
Untuk pengetahuan para pembaca blog ini, saya merupakan penceramah Kursus Pendidikan Pemandu atau K.P.P buat lebih daripada 20 tahun. Masih tertingat saya, sewaktu dilawat oleh seorang “perinyu” dari pejabat JPJ Negari Selangor, saya telah menanya pegawai tersebut di atas suatu soalan.
Saya ingin tahu daripada pegawai tinggi Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan tersebut, kenapa “lampu depan kenderaan jenis “xenon” ataupun “H.I.D” diizinkan pakai, manakala menurut peraturan ataupun undang-undang jalanraya, hanya lampu-lampu jenis “kekuningan” saja yang sah digunakan.
Selanjutnya, saya juga menyoal, kenapa tiada tindakan tegas diambil terhadap pemandu-pemandu yang menggunakan lampu “haram” itu?
Pegawai tinggi JPJ itu sebenarnya tidak dapat memberi jawapan yang memuaskan. Kebetulannya, beliau mengulas: “Lampu jenis ini dipakai oleh anak-anak pegawai tingggi serta golongan kerabat. Jadi, macammana pula tindakan dapat dijalankan?
Sepertimana saya telah ulaskan awal-awal lagi, lampu-lampu “xenon” ataupun “H.I.D” yang bercorak putih pelepah dan mengganggu penglihatan pemandu-pemandu lain, sudah menimbulkan pertikaian di kalangan pemandu-pemandu di Malaysia lama lagi.
Pihak Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan telah membuat keputusan mengeluarkan penjelasan melalui suatu artikel yang berjudul “Lampu-lampu Jenis H.I.D Yang Diluluskan Sah Digunakan.” Artikel tertera di atas, disiarkan di suratkhabar The Star bertarikh Khamis 12hb Januari, 2012.
Sehingga kini sebenarnya, tiada siapapun yang mengetahui tentang penggunaan lampu depan “xenon” ataupun “H.I.D” di negara kita. Samada ianya “haram” mahupun “sah” tidak diketahui.
Artikel yang saya merujuk di atas kebetulannya dikeluarkan oleh Ketua Pengarah, Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan, iaitu Datuk Solah Mat Hassan sendiri.
Sekurang-kurangnya, dengan keluaran artikel tertera di atas, orang-orang awam, khasnya para pemandu, kini menyedari akan kedudukan lampu-lampu jenis ini di negara kita.
Terlebih dulu, pihak JPJ menasihatkan sebenarnya terdapat 2 jenis lampu depan “bermasalah” yang digunakan di Malaysia pada ketika ini.
Apakah lampu-lampu tersebut pada sebenarnya? Lampu-lampu tersebut adalah:-
i. Lampu-lampu depan H.I.D yang dipasang di kilang-kilang pemasang kenderaan yang disifatkan sebagai “original”.
ii. Lampu-lampu H.I.D yang lumrahnya dipasang oleh kedai-kedai “assessori” di luar.
Orang-orang awam harus diperingatkan bahawa yang lampu-lampu jenis kedua merupakan “haram” ataupun “tidak sah” ataupun “salah” di segi perundangan negara.
Sekurang-kuranya, para pemandu-pemandu Malaysia kini tahu akan kedudukan lampu tersebut di negara kita.
Saya berpendapat bahawa, pemandu-pemandu termasuk saya sendiri, tidak akan marah terhadap penggunaan lampu depan jenis ini, mulai sekarang.
Dalam artikel keluaran Datuk Solah, beliau telah menegaskan iaitu sebanyak 269 kenderaan pelbagai jenis telahpun diluluskan oleh pejabat beliau untuk menggunakan lampu-lampu jenis H.I.D. Walau bagaimanapun, ini tidak bermakna, empunya kenderaan lain boleh mengejar ke kedai-kedai “assessor” untuk mula memasang lampu-lampu jenis “H.I.D”.
Ketua Pengarah JPJ bertambah lagi bahawa kesemua Kenderaan-kenderaan baru atau “model” harus melepaskan pemeriksaan “VTA” ataupun pemeriksaan Vehicle Type Approval terlebih dulu.
Pihak JPJ menerangkan, iaitu pemeriksaan VTA bertujuan menentukan bahawa sesuatu kenderaan itu telahpun mematuhi kepada kehendak-kehendak “antarabangsa”, khasnya sekali kehendak-kehendak UNECE serta peraturan-peraturan yang termaktub dalam “Vehicle Technical Regulation”.
Sayugia diperingatkan bahawa, Malaysia mempunyai peraturan-peraturannya tersendiri yang diubahsuaikan.
Pemeriksaan “VTA” merangkumi pemeriksaan apa sebenarnya?
Dalam usaha tersebut di atas, para pengawai Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan akan memeriksa dengan teliti secara fizikal sesuatu model kenderaan serta tanda-tandanya berdasarkan kepada:-
i. Sijil-sijil yang disertakan, serta
ii. Laporan-laporan ujian yang disertakan yang dilampirkan oleh pengeluar-pengeluar kereta untuk kesemua komponen-komponen kenderaan. Ini termasuk lampu hadapan jenis H.I.D juga.
Hanya lampu-lampu depan H.I.D yang mencapai mutu UNECE akan ditawarkan sijil-sijil R48, R98 ataupun R99. Ini bererti bahawa kenderaan-kenderaan tersebut talah melulus ujian VTA yang diperlu.
Sepertimana dinyatakan pada awal-awalnya, kenderaan-kenderaan lain yang dipasang dengan lampu-lampu jenis H.I.D, kemungkinan tidak selamat ataupun “bahaya” untuk diguna. Selain daripada menimbulkan masalah penglihatan kepada pemandu-pemandu di jalanraya, soalan keselmatan kepada para pengguna juga harus dipertimbangkan.
Pihak JPJ juga berkata, tindakan-tindakan terhadap penggunaan lampu depan jenis H.I.D sentiasa dijalankan.
Kepada soalan bahawa pihak JPJ menjalankan operasi ke atas pekedai-pekedai “assessori” yang memasang lampu-lampu jenis H.I.D, Tuan Ketua Pengarah mengulaskan, tindakan ini terletak di luar kuasa pejabatnya.
Walau bagaimanapun, Ketua Pengarah bertambah, orang-orang awam yang mempunyai sebarang komplain terhadap penggunaan lampu depan H.I.D bolehlah menghubungi pejabatnya untuk tindakan diambil terhadap mereka yang bersalah. Yang bersalah akan diheret ke pejabat JPJ untuk tindakan-tindakan yang sewajar.
Pengulasan terbaru Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan nampaknya telahpun mengkikiskan pendapat salah di kalangan para pemandu Malaysia. Orang awam, saya berpendapat, berada di kedudukan yang lebih nyata mengenai konsepsi penggunaan lampu depan jenis H.I.D ataupun “xenon” di negara ini.
Masyarakat atau orang-orang awam blog ini saya percaya, sudah tentu hendak menyampaikan perasaan terima kasih kepada pihak Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan yang sudi memberi pengulasan yang manfaat berhubung dengan lampu-lampu H.I.D ataupun “xenon”.