By Eileen Ng
PETALING JAYA - We have seen it all before: motorcyclists weaving in and out of traffic, zooming past suddenly without regard to vehicles and pedestrians, and ignoring red lights. Not to mention refusing to use the motorcycle lane at highways.
Reckless motorcyclists, long the bane of road users, continue to plague commuters with antics that put themselves and others in danger.
Public anger is reflected in the many letters The Star has received complaining about motorcyclists not using their designated lane, and ignoring not only red lights but also zebra crossings.
According to police statistics, 225,154 accidents occurred nationwide between January and June, resulting in the death of 1,169 motorcyclists and pillion riders.
Disregard of the law and impatience are among the main reasons for motorcycle accidents, as demonstrated by the tragic incident in Alor Setar on Sunday when a teenager was killed and her 20-year-old sister seriously injured.
Their motorcycle was hit by a train at a railway crossing after they tried to cross the track despite the barrier being lowered.
The authorities have found that many motorcyclists were riding their vehicle without a driving licence or with an expired licence.
Of the 24,187 offences recorded by the Road Transport Department for the first six months of this year, 6,398 concerned motorcyclists who went around without a licence while 540 others were caught using expired licences.
Federal deputy traffic chief Asst Comm Mohd Fuad Abd Latiff said most of the motorcyclists without a licence were below 17 years old, and urged parents to help rectify the situation.
He added: "Motorcyclists tend to break the law when the police are not around and we can't be at every location around the clock."