More needs to be done to keep kapcai riders safe

THE humble kapcai is a staple of personal mobility in this country. As transportation modes go, it is reliable, relatively cheap and in abundant supply.

It accounts for a vast majority of the 10 million odd motorcycles on our roads, a not inconsiderable figure when weighed against the country’s 28 million population.

The reasons for their big number are not difficult to fathom.

In most places today, public transportation still does not take you where you want to go, when you want to go. So, for much of the working class, the kapcai really is king.

Whether it is the daily commute to work, despatch duties or pizza deliveries, there is little, other than rain, that stands in the way of a kapcai rider getting to his destination, usually much more quickly than other vehicle users and at a low premium.

But it can be dicey being a motorcyclist in Malaysia.

Official statistics place the annual motorcycle fatalities near the 4,000 mark – higher than any other mode of transport.

The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) says road fatalities could fall by 30% if motorcyclists were separated from the main roads.

There is much to be done to take this beyond a pipe dream.

Firstly, there are not many dedicated motorcycle lanes in the country, save in a few highways.

In those that have them, such as on the Federal Highway, things are clearly not what they should be.

The Star Says.

Read more @ http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp?col=thestarsays&file=/2013/5/29/columnists/thestarsays/13169740&sec=The%20Star%20Says

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