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Gambling with lives on the road

POSTED BY ON 07 July 2015
By Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye
BEING on the road daily, it also makes me wonder why so many of our motorcyclists are willfully gambling with lives and limbs and dicing with death when crossing road junctions despite the traffic signals in red.
 
It is not only the individual motorcyclist but also couples, and sometimes with their small kids sandwiched in between.
 
I always wonder whether these people ever value their lives and that of their loved ones.
 
What I have mentioned is in fact a daily occurrence. Based on my observations, at least 80 percent of our motorcyclists beat the red light when they approach to traffic junctions. They seem to be in such haste and so impatient.
 
As someone who is very much involved in safety, it pains me to see that every year we have more than 6,000 deaths on the roads, and the majority of the victims are the errant motorcyclists.
 
The question to be asked is why so many of our motorcyclists do not observe rules, regulations and ignore traffic signals even to the extent of risking their lives and that of their loved ones.
 
A matter of serious concern is that the respect for laws and regulations on our roads is on the decline today even when it can result in an injury or a fatality on the roads.
 
The most important question is why so many Malaysians, on the roads, do not choose to value their own lives.
 
There have also been a number of incidences of fatal road accidents involving cyclists.
 
Are our existing highways, expressways and roads safe for people to cycle?
 
Are there adequate signages erected along these roads warning motorists to be aware of cyclists and exercise care when cyclists are seen riding along the roads and highways?
 
Are our cyclists adequately protected in terms of wearing PPEs like safety helmets or putting on vests with strobe light to warn drivers of their presence?
 
Are our existing roads and highways safe for use by cyclists? And if they are found to be unsafe, are there any plans to provide bicycle lanes for them?
 
Although cycling is not very popular on our roads due to our climatic conditions, the fact remains there are still many Malaysians who like to cycle for a diversity of reasons such as to exercise or help beat traffic congestion.
 
With this in mind, it is now timely for the authorities to take note of previous tragic deaths involving cyclists and take various preventive steps to prevent future tragedies.