Regulatory body for p-hailing a good idea, must be implemented soon

THE Government has announced that it is considering creating a regulatory body to oversee p-hailing services, which involves the delivery of parcels and food items using motorcycles.

According to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, it was high time this body is seen as an important requirement as part of efforts to protect the welfare of the riders. This is crucial, seeing as to how there is currently no specific body to oversee the sector.

With an estimated 100,000 p-hailing riders on the field in Malaysia, this is indeed a welcomed move.

With higher demand for their services – especially when it comes to online food deliveries – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the regulatory body is crucial to protect the rights and welfare of the riders.

My only grouse, however, is the fact that this should have been done when p-hailing services first started gaining traction in the country a couple of years back. But oh well, better late than never, right?

However, this regulatory is no excuse for p-hailing riders to disregard their safety, as well as that of other road users when on their delivery rounds.

From speeding and running red lights to using their mobile phones on the road, there have been numerous complaints by members of the public of p-hailing riders flouting traffic rules of late.

An infographic issued on p-hailing in Malaysia by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), for instance, revealed that a total of 91 accident cases related to riders in p-hailing services were recorded in 2020.

The infographic, the data of which was based on statistics by police’s Traffic Enforcement and Investigation Department, said 64 cases involving p-hailing services involved severe injuries, while 17 cases resulted in fatalities.

Meanwhile, a separate survey conducted by MIROS found that 70% of p-hailing riders were riding dangerously, especially during peak hours.

The survey also stated that 57% of the riders were found to have stopped at yellow boxes or pedestrian crossings, while 15% were found to have beaten the red light.

At the moment, the minister has not provided any specific timeline regarding this regulatory body, but I would urge him to push for it to be soon.

But until that happens, the authorities, especially the Road Transport Department, must continue to raise awareness among p-hailing riders. While earning their livelihood, it is important that these riders ride responsibly and be considerate to other road users as well. – April 22, 2021


Photo credit: Harian Metro

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