It seems like every year, PDRM needs to remind cyclists that they are not allowed to cycle on the highway, and this year's reminder comes with an increased fine, going from RM300 to RM2k to RM1k to RM5k.
In September 2020, former Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department (JSPT) Director Datuk Azisman Alias reminded cyclists that they could not cycle on the highway under Section 79(2) of the Road Transport Act, 1987.
While that reminder has managed to warn some cyclists off the highway, it seems that a stubborn few are still doing so, which is why the newly appointed Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department (JSPT) Director Datuk Mat Kasim Karim has come out, and once again reminded cyclists that they are not allowed to do so and increased the fine at the same time.
"Tindakan akan diambil mengikut Seksyen 54(1) Akta Pengangkutan Jalan 1987 kerana menunggang secara melulu yang memperuntukkan hukuman denda RM1,000 hingga RM5,000 atau penjara sehingga 12 bulan."
"Gagal mematuhi papan tanda lalu lintas yang melarang berbasikal di lebuh raya boleh menyebabkan individu itu dikenakan tindakan mengikut Seksyen 79(2) akta sama, manakala Seksyen 112(3) pula membolehkan basikal disita jika melakukan mana-mana kesalahan berbasikal," he said to Harian Metro.
Action will be taken under Section 54(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for reckless riding, which will incur those involved with a fine of RM1,000 to RM5,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months.
Failure to comply with traffic signs prohibiting cycling on the highway can result in the individual being charged under Section 79(2) of the same act. In contrast, Section 112(3) allows bicycles to be seized if they commit any cycling offence.
Apart from that, Mat Kasim also took the opportunity to remind riders that those who were found not to install front and rear lights on their bicycles could be prosecuted according to Rule 35 of the Road Traffic Rules 1959, which carries a maximum fine of RM2,000 or imprisonment for up to six months.
He added that Rule 42, which carries the same punishment, can be imposed if the bicycle does not have brakes and bells as a safety feature and for those who ride in groups that are not in a row (single file).
"JSPT has so far only taken advocacy action against cyclists who cycle in groups on the road. The Police do not want to restrict cycling activities, but riders must comply with the advised safety precautions."
Mat Kasim said, based on the record of 150 accident cases involving cyclists, from January to September this year, 71 of those cases were deaths, while 24 were seriously injured and another 55 were lightly injured.
Therefore, he advised cyclists to always abide by the rules and laws for their safety and other road users.
He also advised riders to choose a suitable location and time outside peak hours and avoid roads that can disrupt the smooth flow of traffic and invite the risk of accidents.
Meanwhile, motorists are reminded to be considerate and careful as cyclists are particularly vulnerable to danger while on the road.
As far as we can understand, the ban only affects highways and does not extend to federal, state and municipal roads in the country. Cycling activities on the highway are only permitted if there is permission from PDRM and the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM).