road safety

MOT will conduct a research via MIROS and amend existing legislation that will see ABS compulsory for all motorcycles 150cc and up.


Before you leg over into the hot seat for that ride you planned for this public holiday weekend, take a read of this safety reminder by Captain Nik Huzlan.


Drones proved their worthiness as effective enforcers in the hands of Negeri Sembilan JPJ, and they plan to acquire more.


French town discovers that the best way to keep people safe on its roads is by, ironically, raising the speed limit…


No fines but it’s straight to court for red light runners, queue-cutters, and three more offences during Hari Raya Ops.


Authorities in Spain trials new speed cameras capable of detecting vehicles braking prior to passing it.


The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) has stated that Malaysia needs more motorcycle lanes as one of the ways to reduce the number of road accidents involving our fellow riders and pillions.

This is a problem that the country needs to deal with urgently as statistics in 2018 showcased an average of 18 deaths on Malaysian roads every day where the majority involved motorcyclists. (more…)

Sumber imej: DEKRA
  • Kita sebagai para penunggang motosikal telah sedia maklum buat sekian lama bahawa pertembungan dengan papan tanda besi boleh mengakibatkan kecederaan yang serius atau pun kemalangan jiwa.
  • PBB dan Kesatuan Eropah telah mengesyorkan yang papan tanda buatan besi dan penghadang dibuang.
  • Negara Jerman menerajui usaha dengan menggantikan papan tanda buatan besi dengan buatan plastik.


  • We motorcyclists have known for a long time that contact with metal road signs results in serious injuries or even fatalities.

  • The UN and EU have recommended that metal signs and barriers be removed.

  • Germany is taking the lead to replace steel road signs with plastic ones.

Apart from the steel barriers we see lining highways here, there are also steel road signs which are dangerous to motorcyclists. How many times have we seen bikers losing their limbs and lives after colliding with these “safety barriers”?

Many developed countries around the world are taking steps to replace their road barriers. Germany, on the other hand is taking the initiative to replace steel road signs with plastic ones, in addition to barriers. Check out the main picture of this article.

While we motorcyclists have long known about the dangers of crashing into a road sign, the German safety research facility DEKRA (seen this logo on Michael Schumacher’s cap) researched the hazard for quantifiable results. They found (no surprise) that motorcyclists are likely to be killed if they hit steel signs.

As such, they are advocating plastic road signs. Please watch the DEKRA video below.

The United Nations conducted a road safety survey and published a report in 2017. Among the recommendations are calls to remove roadside hazards that are proven to cause injuries and fatalities among motorcyclists. The 108-page paper by the World Health Organization found that motorcyclists are 15 times more likely to be killed compared to crashing where there is no hazard. The severities of injuries are also increased.

Hitting a steel sign post – Courtesy of Dekra

The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) and European Union Road Federation (ERF) have also published a report called “Improving infrastructure safety for powered two-wheelers” which echoed the call by the WHO, which includes installing motorcycle protection systems on guardrails, maintaining skid resistance of pavement markings (i.e. lines) and ensuring that road surfaces are maintained.

Speaking about those hazards we need to point out that while our roads in Malaysia are actually quite good compared to our immediate neighbours but there are still much to improve for safety. Our observations are:

  • We’ve seen the new rolling guardrail barrier at a corner along the Karak Highway and hope more are installed.
  • The lines on the road are hardly “skid resistant” and are slippery even when dry.
  • While they highways are generally well-maintained, there still potholes that rival the craters on the moon.

We hope that the new Minister of Transport and the Road Transport Department will view these seriously.

Rolling guardrail in Korea – Courtesy of
  • The current laws regarding the minimum age for motorcycle license are currently being revised.

  • In order to curb street hooligans and street racing, there have been voices saying that the minimum age should be lowered.

  • Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) has set up an online survey in order to collect information from the public.

Discussions and proposals are currently being submitted to the Ministry of Transport with the idea of increasing the overall safety of road users here in Malaysia. One of the said ideas is changing the minimum age requirement to obtain a motorcycle license. (more…)

  • Does it seem to you that some drivers think motorcycles are invisible?

  • Research found that it may be largely due to the way the human brain works.

  • So, what can we do to overcome it?

Scientists have confirmed that the human brain could sometimes fail to register an object in plain sight and that a driver is twice as unlikely to see a motorcycle.

We published a few articles about road safety and touched on why it seems that some car drivers treat motorcycles as being transparent on the road. We also mentioned that it most probably has to do with the human psyche of “selective looking;” as in looking out for other cars and larger vehicles, but filtering out motorcycles, instead. (Please click on the link below to read more). That was partly based on assessments on ourselves when we drive and or after speaking to drivers who have never ridden a motorcycle.

8 Things Drivers Don’t Understand About Motorcycles

Having set their minds to look out for other cars, they’d cut across when they don’t see one. They’d not only pull out in front of you on a motorcycle, but they’d do the same in front of anybody: Other cars, trucks, bicycles, men, women and children, cats and dogs, etc.

Coincidentally, a report published in the Reader’s Digest lately highlights what researchers called inattention blindness as being a factor in contributing to motorcycle accidents that involve other vehicles.  The phenomenon denotes the brain’s inability to recognise certain objects or situations that may be right in front of the eyes and explains why the driver claimed to have looked but not see the motorcycle.

The researchers, led by psychology professor at the Australian National University in Canberra, Dr. Kristen Pammer, PhD, suspects that this type of accidents are not attributable to the motorcycle’s size and visibility. She said, “When we are driving, there is a huge amount of sensory information that our brain must deal with. The frequency of (these type of) crashes suggests to us a connection with how the brain filers out information.”

From CaliClutch YouTube channel

Dr. Pammer and her colleagues tested the theory on 56 volunteers. They were told to look at photos that were taken from a driver’s perspective, including one that include an unexpected object – either a taxi or motorcycle. The volunteers then assessed whether it was a safe or unsafe driving situation. No surprise, it was found that the volunteers were twice as like to miss seeing the motorcycle compared to the taxi. Follow-up experiments were also conducted, concluding with similar results.

Dr. Pammer hopes to use her study to train drivers to be more conscious of motorcycles on the road, “By putting motorcyclists higher on the brain ‘radar” of the driver, hopefully drivers will be more likely to see them.”

From 6Foot4Honda YouTube channel

We’re not trying to grandstand on our own articles, but we also iterated that we hope that you, our faithful followers, help to share the message to car drivers.

Now that we know the cause, are we to allow ourselves to be the victims of inattention blindness of others? Definitely not, correct? Besides that, it’s not only that drivers are prone to inattention blindness; it happens to some motorcyclists as well. You’d usually see them drifting slowly from side to side; or just putting along at slow speeds in the overtaking lane – being completely oblivious to the world. Khayal (daydreaming) kills, buddy.

Ten Ways Motorcyclists Annoy the Public

Here are a few tips to make it out in one piece:

  1. Always ride with full attention and at reasonable speeds in traffic. That also means having your fingers and feet cover the controls in anticipation, as opposed to riding with one hand on the handlebar, for example.
  2. NEVER trust other road users explicitly. If you’re a fair to good rider, never expect their skill levels to yours.
  3. Wear gear that improve your visibility to increase the chances of you being seen.
  4. Always keep in mind that a wayward road user may cross your path at any time.
  5. Keep your head and eyes up. Scan the road in front of you with a wide view, in addition to looking as far ahead as possible.
  6. Be especially suspicious and proactive when you see a car behaving even just a fraction differently from those around him i.e. starting to creep to either side of the lane, or slowing down abruptly, etc.
  7. Use the horn! Using the horn doesn’t make you a sissy. It saves your life!
  8. Learn to brake and steer in emergencies.
  9. And lastly, we repeat: Always ride with full attention and stop worrying about that MU game.
  • Speaking to car drivers, most don’t understand motorcycles.

  • It’s mostly due to their limited knowledge about the motorcycle’s limitations, rather than having bad intentions.

  • It’s our responsibility as bikers to share this knowledge with other road users.

We wrote about how us as motorcyclists could annoy car drivers earlier. Those examples we cited were due to extreme instances on the rider’s part. Truth is, whether we accept the fact or otherwise, while there are many bad car drivers, there are equally bad motorcyclists. That’s why we’ve decided to put together this article of 8 Things Drivers Don’t Understand About Motorcycles.

Being humans, we always relish upon our own perspectives while being apathetic to those of others. We can’t please everyone, of course, since we’re sharing a public facility but we have to always remember about others. It’s when we don’t that we become an annoyance to others. (Compare ourselves to Japanese road users. No, don’t refer to Tokyo Drift.)

Ten Ways Motorcyclists Annoy the Public

From this apathy stems misgivings about others, including some car drivers who don’t or worse, refuse to understand what motorcyclists have to go through. This is especially applicable to drivers who have never as much as ridden pillion on a motorcycle, hence they do not understand a motorcycle’s limitations.

And it’s usually this bunch who spell trouble for us motorcyclists. A note to car drivers: We are not attempting to put you down through this article. On the other hand, we hope that you understand the plight of motorcyclists.

1. Motorcycles can stop instantly

This is by far, the worse misconception about motorcycles.

Cars drivers see us and still pull out with mere 2 metres to spare, without factoring in our closing speed. They base their impression on how they could brake in their cars and apply it to motorcycles.

While it’s true that motorcycles are smaller and lighter, hence could stop in distances that’ll shame 99% of cars out there, the key here is stopping safely in a short distance. Sure, we could just clamp down on the brakes, but we’re likely to skid out or tip over due to stopping dead too abruptly.

2. Motorcycles can avoid anything

Besides thinking that we could stop in time, drivers often pull out in front of us with the impression that we could avoid them.

Yes, a seasoned or trained rider may be able to avoid the car, but where do we avoid to if there’s no space? Into oncoming traffic?

What about riders like pakciks and makciks on old bikes? Do car drivers actually think they have the capability to do so?


3. Motorcycles can brake in the middle of corners

We’re coming up to a corner, occupying the overtaking lane (that’s the right-most lane, ahem) to pass traffic.

But just as we approach 10 metres behind the car on the right side, the driver decides to pull out into the right lane to overtake the vehicle in front of him, effectively cutting us off. That leaves us with no choice but to apply hard braking while being leaned over for the corner.

Cars can brake hard in a corner and still track through as they’re not that prone to weight transfer. On a motorcycle, hard braking in the middle of the corner will result in either 1) The bike standing straight up and overshooting the corner; or 2) The front tyre skidding and dumping us on the ground (low side).

To car and other vehicle drivers, please set up your pass BEFORE the corner. It’s called looking and planning ahead.

4. Crossing the line between lanes

Speaking about corners, we are mystified as to why certain drivers have to put the inside portion of their vehicles into the lane beside him while negotiating corners. Some even have the mindless attitude to sweep past all three, even four lanes from the right-most to the left-most and drift back out to the right-most to make a simple CURVE, much less a corner.

This is especially prevalent on twisty highways like Karak or mountain roads like those near Genting Highlands or Cameron Highlands. What? You’re driving Formula One? Does a Formula One or any racecar driver round corners by leaving his lane? His car becomes an expensive lawnmower if he did!

If a vehicle operator couldn’t keep his vehicle in the same lane while cornering, it means he couldn’t control his vehicle effectively. Think it looks cool? No, it looks dumb.

To be fair, this applies to some bikers too.

Picture from

5. Motorcycles are slow


Speed is relative. It means while a car turtles along in a traffic jam at 10 km/h, a scooter travelling at 40 km/h is 30 km/h faster.

Out on the highways, motorcycles normally travel from 80 km/h and all the way up. The closing rates are much faster and it only takes a split second for a motorcycle to reach the car ahead.

It’s not that we’re the kings of the road, but we’d like to implore drivers to please look closely to determine our speed and closing rate before deciding to pull out.

6. Motorcycles are invisible

That leads us to vision.

In fairness, it’s how the human psyche works. Our minds can get stuck in the mode to scan for what we chose to focus on.

A driver first thinks, “Ada keter tak? (Got other cars or not?)” When his mind replies, “Takde keter, boleh jalan (No car, can move),” he will turn out in front of you, only to be surprised to find a bike honking at him or worse, having the motorcyclist fly into his car. His response will invariably be, “There wasn’t a bike. I don’t know where he came from,” although we had been there at all time.

This could still happen despite us wearing a bright jacket or being covered with bright LEDs from head to toe.

If you’re reading this, we need to condition our minds to scan for everything on the road, including all different sorts of vehicles, pedestrians, cats and dogs.

7. Not checking the mirror and surroundings

Mirrors aren’t there just for the vehicle to pass road homologation, they’re there to spot other vehicles and road users. So use them.

Also, we should inculcate the habit to glance past our shoulders before switching lanes. Another vehicle could occupy the vehicle’s blindspots. A quick glance over the shoulder allows one to determine if the sides are clear.

From the movie Clueless

8. Not signaling

For the information of car drivers, while the turnsignal switch on a motorcycle is placed next to the left thumb, reaching for it is relatively harder than flicking the signal stalk in a car. Yes, I drive too!

This is because riders with small hands and short fingers need to stretch the thumb to get at the switch, while having a finger or two on the clutch lever, while the last two holding the handlebar to control the direction of the bike, at the same time!

In a car, a driver could just flick the signal stalk at will with any of or all his fingers. So, there’s really no excuse why car drivers don’t signal!

Other bad habits

9. On the phone!

How many times have we seen drivers swerving all over the road because they were busy updating their Facebook or talking so intently on their mobile phones?! Where’s the enforcement?!



These are just a few among many things that are dangerous to motorcyclists. Sure, we could always blame “That stupid driver” but the obligation is on ourselves to ride intelligently in order to avoid becoming the victim of others’ impertinence. Remember that we motorcyclists always come out worse in the event of an accident, regardless of whose fault it is.

Through this article and others to come, we hope that each of us would take a little time to advice our car driving acquaintances and family members on the limitations of motorcycles. That’s more constructive than jabbering away at social media portals that post about road accidents and end up fighting with complete strangers and trolls.

With enough determination, let’s improve road safety for everyone, Insy’Allah.


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