Bandar Seri Begawan - YB Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, the Minister of Communications yesterday has raised concern on the rise in fatal accidents involving motorcycle riders. The Minister also highlighted in his speech on the progress of the new motorcycle license based on horse power classification at the Defensive motorcycle riders' awareness programme which was held yesterday.
The minister in his speech pointed out "According to the Land Transport Department's record for the past few years, there has been a consistent increase of motorcycle registration. In 2012, there was an increase of 8.6 per cent recorded comparing with the total number of registration in 2010."
In connection with the increase, he continued, "There has also been a growing concern on the increase of injuries and death from accident involving motorcycles. For the first two months of 2013, three riders have lost their lives in separate fatal accidents as compared to the overall figure recorded for 2012, whereby four individuals had lost their lives in separate accidents."
In relation to the fatal accidents record, he said, "It shows the vulnerability of riders and passengers. In sharing the road with cars as well as buses and heavy vehicles, motorcycles sometimes are less visible as compared to other road users. Besides that, there are no frames and physical protection for motorcycle riders which raise further risk and exposure to injuries as compared with other road users. Therefore motorcyclists will need special protection for safety"
In ensuring road safety, the Ministry of Communications is currently formulating an initiative for motorcycle riders based on the international best practices.
He said, "From the results of investigations carried out on two of the motorcycle accidents occurred early this year, has involved high horse powered motorcycles."
Under the road traffic regulation on Driving Licence, he highlighted, "Brunei Darussalam currently issues class one motorcycle licence for all motorcycle riders without any limit on the power of the motorcycle used. In neighbouring countries, motorcycle licence is divided into three stages based on the horse power of the motorcycle. The classification of classes is based on the skills and competencies in controlling the high powered vehicle as compared to the ordinary vehicle."
The minister then commented, "The various divisions of the licence class based on the horse power capacity and the weight of motorcycle will equip motorcycle riders with enough skills and competencies before being able to ride high horse powered motorcycles.
The Land Transport Department is currently in the process of reviewing the regulation and in the process of issuing the new motorcycle licence. In the new amendment, the department will introduce added classification according to horse power of the motorcycle."
The minister also reiterated that the National Road Safety Council will only be able to achieve its objective with the commitment and cooperation from all parties. The Government of His Majesty will continue to plan and implement policy, initiative as well as regulation towards road safety.
Also present at the event were Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yusof, the Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications with Senior Supt Hj Azahari bin Hj Awang Besar, the Director of Traffic Control and Investigation Department of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) as well as officials from the ministry and enforcement officers from the RBPF and Land Transport Department.
On hand to deliver the programme was Peter Hodgson, Ideal Driver and Rider Trainer from the United Kingdom.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin