Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak called on the government on Facebook to promote the use of micro-mobility vehicles rather than ban them.

In April, the government announced that it would ban certain micro-motorized vehicles from the road. The ban covers mopeds, personal mobility aids (i.e. electric wheelchairs, scooters) and personal mobility aids (e.g. electric scooters, hoverboards, skateboards, scooters). Bicycles and e-bikes are exempt from the regulation, but users are still required to abide by the existing rules in the Road Traffic Act and the Road Traffic Rules.

In his post on the social media site, Najib said the best and efficient relationship between first mile and last mile connections is for public transport systems such as bus and rail (Light Rail, KTM Komuter, Monorail, MRT) success is very important.

“The use of micro-mobility vehicles can play an important role in the success of first- and last-mile connections,” he said. To promote the use of micro-mobility vehicles, Najib suggested the government impose a condition on these vehicles that they must meet the necessary safety approvals before they can be sold here.

Micro motor vehicle refers to a vehicle with a maximum speed of 50 km/h by means of electric power, internal combustion engine, manpower or manpower combined with the above two kinds of power.

Najib said the vehicles should be categorized by five modes of transport within the city, namely walking, cycling, motorcycles, cars and buses. For small, micro-motorized vehicles that don’t go faster than walking, he said they should be allowed on sidewalks. At the same time, vehicles closer to bicycles should be allowed on existing bike lanes and beyond.

According to a report sunThe Ministry of Transport (MoT) is working closely with the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) to draft guidelines for the use of micro-mobility vehicles.

“Miniature motor vehicles are under the purview of the Ministry of Transport, so we can control (control the use of vehicles) on the road. For areas off the road, it is up to the KPKT to set guidelines on where such vehicles can be used,” said Traffic Mike Chong Yew Chuan, the minister’s special functions officer, said.

“The Ministry of Transport has never completely banned the use of such vehicles. The public can still use them, but only at designated locations as determined by the KPKT and the local authority (PBT),” he added.

In his post, Najib also said that micro-motor vehicle users who act irresponsibly and disturb other road users or pedestrians will face heavy fines and penalties. Najib concluded by saying that promoting the use of micro-mobility vehicles is important for the success of public transport, and the government has invested heavily to reduce traffic congestion in cities.

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The issue of micro-mobility vehicles surfaced last year when a viral video on social media showed a man riding an electric scooter on a busy public road, leading the Department of Transport to gazette the current road traffic ban (prohibiting the use of Certain Micro Motor Vehicles) ) 2021 Rules, effective December 17, 2021.

Singapore took a similar approach back in November 2019, banning the use of Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) on all sidewalks due to an increase in e-scooter-related casualties. Even though PMDs are banned from sidewalks, such devices can still be used on bike paths and the country’s network of park connectors.

Do you agree with Najib’s statement? Should the government focus more on promoting the use of micro-mobility vehicles than imposing a blanket ban? Share your thoughts in the comments below.