MIROS (Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research) is currently studying the feasibility of introducing electric bicycles into our roads. This came in the wake of the recent report that electric bicycles are not suitable here as they are too slow for our roads but too fast for residential streets. Hence the study is called for an MIROS is sanctioned to carry it out and they are now calling on members of the public as well as from the industry to give your view.
According to MIROS, they need the feedback from the public in order for them to propose to the government on how the use of electric bicycles could be regulated. At the moment, the market demand for electric bicycles are on the rise although it has yet to be approved for use here. As an electric bicycle is somewhat like a motorcycle, the categorization of this vehicle has yet to be determined. Hence, some countries classify it under the motorcycle segment which means it is susceptible under the insurance and road tax requirements. In some countries, they are in the bicycle category which would have its own regulations while certain countries have a new category by itself.
Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, the Transport Minister recently said that apart from MIROS, there would be other agencies also involved which include the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Road Transport Department, Road Safety Department Malaysia while the public’s opinion and feedback too will be part of the proposal. This came after the public calls for electric bicycle and once the feedback is gathered, it will be submitted to the cabinet where a final decision will then be reached.
He did say that the government will not make it difficult for the public to own and use the electric bicycle and that it will most likely be classified in the standard bicycle segment where it could used on the roads and the electric bicycles would be following international standards. He added that while it will not be difficult for the public to get approval for it, the main concern is the safety of the road users.