Students who wish to procure a driving license, irregardless of whether it is a D license (cars) or a B2 license (motorcycles below 250c.c.), have time and again been drummed into their heads that to drive or handle a motorized vehicle, requires a valid driving license.
The Road Transport Act 1987 or the Akta Pengangkutan Jalan 1987, stipulates very explicitly, a failure to possess a driving license is an offence. A person can be charged under Section 26(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987. Contravening the above regulation, a person can be brought to court under Section 26(2) of the Act. He can even be fined up to RM150 for the offence committed.
In an announcement to the public in the media recently, the Minister of Transport, Datuk Kong Cho Ha, said that studies are now being done to determine whether electric bicycles should be allowed on the road.
The Transport Minister further was reported to have reiterated, “Studies are being conducted and recommendations have been put to the cabinet.”
According to the Transport Minister, Datuk Kong, as a matter of fact the use of electric bicycles has to be regulated. There are currently no laws that regulate or govern its usage.
It is further reported, if electric bicycles are to be allowed to be used, the government has to make a decision who in reality can use it and under what specific rules will come under it.
I have seen instances of electric bicycles being used in village or kampung areas. It is normally being used by the more elderly folks, who drive it around to sundry shops and other shopping outlets.
There is without a doubt, “two sides to a coin” as the saying goes. Being such, the authorities, especially the Road Transport Department has to ponder very carefully whether to ban the use of electric bicycles in our country.
The pros and cons obviously have to be considered before a decision can be reached. This is inspite of the fact that Road Transport Authorities currently possess adequate and clear rules and regulations under the Road Transport Act 1987.
As stated earlier, users of electric bicycles, who are mainly made up of the elderly and pensioners I presume, say electric bicycles should not be banned. They claim that benefits outweigh the risks involved. Thus this saying exists, “the ends justify the means”.
Therefore basing it on the popular saying above, the maxim seems to be, “if it brings good and benefits people, continue to allow it to be used.” Why stop its usage?
But allowing electric bicycles to be used as per “status quo” today, might not be the correct decision. It is therefore my opinion, that for the sake of safety and the protection of electric bicycle users and the public as a whole, recommendation should be evolved and variable suggestions put forward.
This would then result in what is considered a “win-win” situation for all parties, the users, the manufactures of the electric bicycles themselves, the Road Transport Authorities and others. All in all, everybody will be happy about it. And the environment, most of all, will eventually benefit from the usage of it.