PETALING JAYA, Jan 25 — The Transport Ministry admits it is time to review the age requirement of those applying for licences to operate motorcycles above 250cc.
Its deputy minister, Datuk Aziz Kaprawi, also agreed the training modules for those learning to ride superbikes were not comprehensive.
According to the law, a 16-year-old is able to apply for a motorcycle licence of any classification.
There are three different classes for motorcycles — B2 for motorcycles below 250cc, B1 for motorcycles not exceeding 500c, and B for motorcycles that exceed 500cc.
Responding to Malay Mail’s front page reported headlined Teens + Superbikes = Madness yesterday, Aziz Kaprawi said: “There are several critical issues that must be studied. Are teenagers matured and experienced enough to handle such big and powerful motorcycles?
“There is a need for us to review the age limit and it is time we did so. The appropiate age, however, can only be determined once we get feedback from the public and stakeholders.”
Aziz Kaprawi said 63 per cent of fatal road accidents over the past five years involved those on motorcycles of all classes.
“It’s been our major concern and we want to bring down the number of fatalities. One way could be to only allow experienced riders to ride big motorcycles,” he said.
In yesterday's report, Road Transport Department director-general Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron said there was a need to review the age requirement as new learners were not experienced enough to operate superbikes.
The Malaysian Driving Insitute Association, while echoing Nadzri’s sentiments, said new learners were not taught enough to handle motorcycles in general.
The association’s president, Mat Aris Bakar, added that tests were only held at a circuit in driving schools instead of the mandatory road test undertaken by new learners of other vehicles.
Aziz Kaprawi said: “Defensive riding, learning how to overtake carefully and being able to control the speed and brakes are several things motorcyclists should be taught.
“They need to know when to apply their brakes, how to take corners. This is to ensure riders will have adequate knowledge to handle their bikes properly.
“We should relook the training modules, too.”