Malaysia to propose motorcycle lanes on all state and federal roads

The Malaysian Transportation Ministry hopes to halve its road fatalities by 2030 with proposed motorcycle lanes on all state and federal roadways.
PHOTO: CarBuyer

As part of the Road Safety Plan 2022–2030, the Malaysian Transportation Ministry announced on Dec 28 that it will incorporate motorcycle lanes on all state and federal roadways. This bid aims to reduce Malaysian road deaths by half by 2030.

The aim here is to reduce fatalities and injuries for Malaysia motorcyclists.

Motorcycles, especially small-capacity ones, are a common choice for personal transport in Malaysia. Separating two-wheelers from full-sized vehicles, especially large commercial vehicles, might directly help the country's safety aims.

"Small motorcycles will suffer from air drift from faster vehicles, especially coaches, vans, and lorries, on highways," said Transport planning consultant Rosli Azad Khan.

According to FMT, for every 100 road deaths in Malaysia, 70 involved motorcyclists. This places Malaysia closer to replacing Thailand for having the world's worst death rate for motorcycle users, and between 2001 and 2021, a total of 89,953 motorcyclists died on Malaysia's roads.

State and federal roads encompass the 'main' roads that connect Malaysia's towns and cities, but do not cover small, intra-urban roads so this does not mean every paved road in Malaysia will have a motorcycle lane.

Previously, authorities installed designated motorcycle lanes on federal highways limiting motorcyclists to vehicle-specific lanes was proven difficult for local governments.

For the time being, the plan has been forwarded to the Local Government Development Ministry and local councils and will be heard by the National Physical Planning Council (MPFN) in 2023.

Malaysian industry observers CarBuyer queried were sceptical of the announcement eventually bearing fruit, but were hopeful that the recent change in government could speed things along.

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This article was first published in CarBuyer.