The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has decided to stick with a ban on micromobility solutions like e-scooters because they pose a danger to the users and other road users.
Just a week after announcing that they are looking into implementing a rule regarding the use of e-scooters on public roads, including the implementation of licenses for them, Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) has announced that they have decided to just stick with the outright ban of e-scooters on public roads.
E-scooters are dangerous!
According to their Facebook page, the Ministry would like to inform the public that certain micromobility vehicles are prohibited on the road through the gazetting of the Road Traffic Rules (prohibition of the use of certain micromobility vehicles) 2021, which came into force on Dec 17, 2021.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Wee Ka Siong said, “micromobility vehicles such as mopeds, personal mobility devices (PMD) and personal mobility aids (PMA) are not allowed to be used on public roads.”
His justification was that the use of micromobility vehicles on the road could pose a danger to the users and other road users.
The specific types of micromobility vehicles that are prohibited from being used on the road are:
Moped – one, two or three-wheeled electric vehicle with a maximum speed of 50km/h.
Personal Mobility Devices & Personal Mobility Aids – Human-powered vehicles or machines that use motors with a maximum speed of 25km/h.
Those who fail to comply with the rules will be fined RM300 for the first offence, a maximum of RM1,000 for the subsequent offence, or jailed for three months.
However, according to the New Straits Times, “Ka Siong said the use of the three categories of micromobility vehicles was allowed in areas where there was no mixture of traffic flows involving various vehicles.”
So where can you ride an e-scooter?
“The use of micromobility vehicles on the road will be considered if the local authorities provide infrastructure and facilities that support the safe use of the vehicles”.
Ka Siong also told Bernama that bicycles, trishaws, and electric bicycles were allowed, subject to compliance with the regulations set under the Road Transport Act 1987 and Road Traffic Rules 1959.
“For electric bicycles, only those that meet Malaysia Standard MS2514: Electric Bicycles Specifications can be used on the road”.
Not looking deeper into the feasibility of micromobility vehicles is a typical move by authorities who cannot find a happy medium or solution.
One step forward and two steps back
Picture credit: Fat Daddy
While some rotten apples have given micromobility a bad name, many people who use public transport actually depend on micromobility vehicles as a last-mile solution. In fact, here at Carlist.my, we have a colleague who uses his e-scooter to get from his house to the LRT station and vice-versa. This ban has him scratching his head now, he admitted that depending on enforcement this might deter him from using public transportation to commute to work.
Is there not a way to better manage, monitor and regulate these micromobility options other than to outright ban them? In a country like ours that suffers from horrific traffic jams, should we not be working towards removing more vehicles from the road? Isn’t banning micromobility vehicles like the ones mentioned counterproductive towards our goals of becoming a more climate neutral country? In typical Malaysian fashion, it’s one step forward and two steps backward.