PETALING JAYA: If there is an option, disabled people on wheelchairs would not want to risk their lives on the road.
Sia Siew Chin, founder and secretary-general of Malaysia Independent Living Association for the Disabled (Milad), said many roads do not come with pedestrian walkways and not all the walkways are disabled-friendly for wheelchair-bound people.
“Some of the pedestrian walkways are too steep or built with steps. Those on wheelchairs are unable to use such walkways,” she said when asked to comment on the immediate ban of micromobility vehicles on the road by the ministry of transport.
Wheelchairs are found on the road because of incomplete facilities for the disabled.
Transport minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong was quoted as saying the ban involves mopeds, personal mobility devices including electric scooters, devices with internal combustion engines or propelled by human power as well as personal mobility aids.
These devices are banned under the Road Traffic (Prohibition of Use of Certain Microbility Vehicles) Rules 2021 enforced since Dec 17 last year.
Sia, who has been in the disabled sector for more than 30 years, said she had not heard of accidents caused by electronic wheelchairs although some fell from their wheelchairs due to potholes on the roads.
In addition, the wheelchairs were used mostly on residential roads and not highways.
Traffic consultant Goh Bok Yen, meanwhile, said micromobility vehicles should be incorporated into the existing traffic system.
Currently, such devices are not suitable on the road due to defects in our road design.
“There is no suitable space for such devices on Malaysian roads,” he said.
Goh said members of the public should not be judging such devices in a bad light.
Road users should have higher level of safety awareness once the micromobility devices are incorporated into the existing traffic system, where they are good for the first and final leg of a journey such as within 1km radius from a LRT station, he said.