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Motorcyclists may soon find that they will no longer be able to use the Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (Akleh) and the Maju Expressway (MEX) for their travel needs.

According to The Sun, the government is mulling over the request by both highway operators to re-enforce the ruling on restricting the usage of motorcycles on them, citing safety reasons. Both highways were not originally designed for motorcycle usage.

“They (concessionaires) are appealing to us to withdraw the permission for motorcycles to use the highways. Right now, (motorcycles are) one of the major causes of accidents on these two highways, as far as records are concerned,” Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof told the publication.

He said that while it will not be easy to withdraw the privilege for motorcycles to use these highways, the safety record of bikers was worrying. “Once you have given that permission (of using the highway) and withdraw it, motorcyclists will definitely object because that is the fastest way for them to get to their destinations,” he said.

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“I am still compiling all the reports in terms of record of the accidents involving motorcycle or caused by motorcyclists, so if I have sufficient proof or evidence, we may consider. I am looking at balancing them before making the final decision,” he added.

The report states that since motorbikes were allowed to use both highways seven years ago, a total of 382 road crashes involving bikers – with 15 fatalities – have been recorded on MEX. Statistics show that during daily peak hours, there are an estimated 4,000 motorcycles and 32,000 other vehicles plying the 26 km-long highway.

Meanwhile, the 7.9 km-long Akleh – which began running in May 2001 – sees around half a million motorcyclists using it monthly. There are an average of four accidents (and three fatalities) involving bikes every month. Toll-paying users have long been complaining to the concessionaire over a number of issues involving motorbikes, including that of illegal night racing on weekends.

For the last six years, the concessionaires have requested that the government revoke the approval for motorcycles to use both highways. They were originally gazetted with a restriction on motorcycles under subsection 70 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, but in June 2008, the government had given temporary approval for bikers to use Akleh and MEX free of charge, a move “to ease the burden of the people” in view of the hike in the price of petrol at that point.