Proponents of road safety have called on the transport ministry to study the proposal to automatically upgrade the Malaysian B2 class motorcycle licence to a full B licence. This was because it involves the safety of motorcyclists as well as that of society, the New Straits Times reports.
According to Alliance for Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, introducing an automatic upgrade could result in serious implications, given the high number of fatalities in road mishaps involving motorcyclists. “These days, we are looking at about 6,000 to 7,000 cases of road fatalities per year, where more than 68% of these cases involve motorcyclists,” he said.
He said the current driving test required for a motorcycle licence upgrade is crucial, as it equips the motorcyclist with better knowledge on how to handle a larger, higher capacity motorcycle. “Therefore, the transport ministry has to study this proposal very carefully, especially since it involves the public’s safety,” he told the publication.
University Putra Malaysia associate professor Law Teik Hua agreed with Lee, saying that the public would be put to higher risk if authorities decided to go ahead with the automatic upgrade.
“I cannot see the rationale or benefit behind these policy changes. Perhaps it is good news for motorcyclists, but what is the benefit to society? In order to make sure the motorcyclists know what they are handling, it is better to go through the exams and the usual procedures in getting the full B licence,” said the head of the university’s road safety research centre.
Law said given that the country was facing many road deaths involving motorcyclists, addressing that was a more pressing matter. He said that instead of introducing such a policy, the ministry should review and update its existing road transport syllabus required for car and motor licences.
“If our current syllabus is sufficient, how come we still have so many accidents happening? So, the numbers show that perhaps the syllabus was sufficient back then, when you don’t have high motorisation levels, but times have changed,” he told the NST.
He said that it was time to introduce new aspects to the exam syllabus.”The current syllabus only ensures that you are good enough to drive a car or ride a motorcycle, but there is still no module to ensure you are safe enough to operate these vehicles,” he said.
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