Many years ago, motorcycle riders were exempted from paying road tolls. Bridge tolls followed. B2 riders were exempted. Very soon followed the government’s decision to reduce road tax. Road tax for motors become RM2 only.

But if you think that’s all the authorities are doing for motorcycle rides, you’re wrong.

A few months ago, 135,000 Sirim approved safety helmets were given free in exchange for old helmets. The above campaign had to be carried out. Motorcycle riders, it seems, were using old and worn out helmets, which the authorities claimed were dangerous.

Each Sirim approved helmet, mind you, cost approximately RM80 – RM100.

If you were to be a motorcycle rider, what more can you expect from the authorities?

Unfortunately, how have these youths who ride motorcycle repaid the authorities? By becoming “Mat Rempit”, which is becoming a major headache for the government today.

Even Section 81 of the Road Transport Act 1987 has failed to deter youths from participating in illegal racing. The above act carries a RM2000 fine. It has even been suggested in Parliament that machines be confiscated. All these have failed to prevent the menace of illegal racing in this country.

In spite of all these developments, the authorities came out with the biggest surprise of all just recently. A bonus for all motorcycle riders, I should say.

A directive to all driving institutes all across the entire country, that potential candidates opting to secure a B2 (below 250 cc) motor license cannot be charged more than a sum of RM211.

Irregardless of whether the institutes make a profit or otherwise, the regulation now stipulates that’s the maximum amount a motorcycle rider can be charged.

This tantamount to encouraging and assisting more and more youths, especially from the kampung areas to secure a motor driving license to ride motorcycles.

To tell you the truth, I would be happier if it had been the other way around. The authorities, it looks, has made a rather unwise decision. Instead of raising the minimum age of riding motorcycles to say 18 years, it has gone out of its way, to introduce recommendations to assist motorcycle users again and again.

Lest it be said that I am against those who ride motorcycles, the fact it, I am not.

What does the sum of RM211, recently announced by the authorities encompass? Basically, the amount covers:

1) The “L” driving license.

2) Attendance of the K.P.P. course (5 hours).

3) Attendance of the theory class (6 hours).

4) Sitting for the highway code test (once only).

5) The Q.T.I. test conducted by the J.P.J. authorities.

6) The “P” driving license.

Be it reminded that should you fail the highway code test the first time around, most driving schools and institutes would charge you RM50 for test and service included the next time around.

Potential candidates should also bear in mind, no service like fetching the student to learn practical lessons and training purposes are accorded. Likewise for all other tests and practical tests conducted, a student has to fend for himself.

The instructor or driving schools or institutes provide no service whatsoever to the students.

Be it also be known, that the profession of driving institution is a service oriented business. Besides levying fees approved by the J.P.J. authorities, a driving school proprietor is permitted to charge a reasonable amount of what is termed as service charges.

It should be reminded the driving school entity has to bear overhead and assorted charges. And for that, service fee has to be taken into account.

I have chosen to explain this to the readers, as a failure to do so might lead those interested in taking up driving lessons, be it car or motorcycle, to misconstrue the manner in which the fees are charged and calculated.