Malaysiakini Letter

Road safety a concern with local Gojek-like services

Amerul Azry AbduL Aziz
Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | I am not interested to know who was the prominent politician who became the first voice to propose the idea of making Go-Jek a reality in this country.

That's not important. The most important thing now that if such a ride-hailing service is being considered by the government to be on our roads, would it be a safe transport service for all of us?

Just look at how food delivery riders handle their motorcycles. I bet that I'm not the first and only one to notice their "insanity" on the roads. I'm sure there are many of you who feel they are unsafe.

Not all, but most of them are not so sensitive about riding safely on the roads. Roads are shared and as a shared infrastructure they need mutual tolerance from all their users including me, an urban car driver.

Because at the end of the day, it's not just about the safety of the riders. It's also about the safety of other road users who don't want to be at fault when bad things happen.

If ride-hailing services like Gojek are serious about being launched, the government has to be precise about regulating future riders who really want to be in the business.

Having just a show of hands is not enough. The business is not only about picking up passengers, sending them home and getting paid. It's also about securing irreplaceable lives that can never be substituted with stacks of cash.

To me, from my perspective as a graduate of transport study, a ride-hailing service would be realistic if there will be dedicated lanes on urban roads, especially in the capital Kuala Lumpur, for riders. In other words, they would not be on the same road lanes as others while sending their customers to their end destinations.

Doing so doesn't mean alienating them but it's for the passengers to be convinced of the safety of the so-called bike-hailing services.

As we all visibly realise, reducing the numbers of cars on our roads won't be a real thing as there are more new car models being advertised and sold in the market.

And having them on the market certainly doesn't demoralise people from the excitement of getting their loans approved and owning the cars, ironically in this feverish economy

The intention of making KL a congestion-free city seems to be a "mission impossible" and getting bike-hailing services on the roads could be an advantage for daily urban commuters to be at work on time without being stressed out.

Besides the dedicated lanes, the motorcycles used by bike-hailing riders must be, of course, regularly inspected and uniformly equipped with certain safety and customer-friendly features that can even attract corporate bosses or politicians to be their passengers.

I believe the public would agree with providing the "Mat Rempits" with jobs via bike-hailing services but the government must not just see it just as an employment strategy but also take up the responsibility of ensuring road-users' safety.

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