LEIPZIG (Germany): Malaysia is expected to face strong resistance and delay tactics from the motorcycle industry to include the anti-brake locking system (ABS) for all types of motorcycles towards 2030 and beyond.
This is because vehicle safety advocates are claiming that manufacturers over the years have been attempting to convince the governments in Southeast Asia that the technology isn’t cost beneficial especially for the underbone (“kapcai”) models.
“The motorcycle industry should stop delaying the progress on ABS fitment by exaggerating the costs.
“The days in which the motorcycle industry could deny, deflect and delay action on ABS are now over!,” said Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) executive president David Ward.
Speaking to FMT at the International Transport Forum Summit 2022 held here, he said it was unacceptable that the motorcycle industry was so far behind the carmakers for many years in making ABS a standard safety feature.
“We are hoping that Malaysia will play a key role in pushing for a region-wide commitment for ABS installation in motorcycles at the Asean transport ministers meeting later this year,” Ward said.
Stating that the motorcycle boom in Asean has surpassed car sales since the pandemic, he reckoned that the annual global growth in motorcycle production over the next decade will be over 60 million units.
“So, by 2030, we could see an addition to the motorcycle fleet of over 600 million and probably more,” he said. “If ABS is widely applied across the Asean region, it would be even more so as economies of scale are applied.”
Meanwhile, Saul Billingsley, the executive director of the FIA Foundation chided the industry practice of designing vehicles to the lowest possible safety limits to maximise profits.
“Consumers are often unaware they are trusting their lives to inferior models,” he said, adding that ABS has been a cost-effective common technology in the global market for ages.
“In the US, one study shows this single safety measure can reduce rider death by 31%,” he added.
Billingsley also said the latest policy by the Malaysia government may force manufacturers to change practices.
“So any resistance from manufacturers to include it in their Malaysian motorcycle models can only be seen as a cynical stalling tactic.”
According to the World Health Organization, motorcycle user fatalities have been identified as the leading cause of road deaths in developing nations.
Two months ago, transport minister Wee Ka Siong had announced that the law will be amended within two years to push for the compulsory installation of ABS for all new motorcycles with 150cc engine capacity and above, and later to be expanded to “kapcai” models.
“Consumers will have safer vehicles when legislation forces safer design,” said Saul, adding that ABS has been easily built into all types of motorcycles, from scooters and mopeds to powerful touring models.