A recent Facebook posting showed a photo of a motorcyclist using the emergency lane on a toll highway, along with a rant from the poster taking the rider to task getting angry at a car occupying the lane. Other users then chimed in on post, saying that while cars and other four-wheeled vehicles are banned from using the lane, motorcyclists are given a certain leeway to do so.

This is somewhat allowed by the authorities since bikers do not occupy the entire lane, do not cause traffic congestion on the highway and are able to move out of the way if necessary when an emergency vehicle needs to use the lane, as well as increasing the margin of safety for both riders and drivers during traffic jams. However, Datuk Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman, JPJ deputy director-general, has gone on record in an mStar Online report saying that the emergency lane is for the exclusive use of authorised vehicles in case of emergency.

“Any vehicle, including motorcycles, are not allowed to use the emergency lane,” Wan Ahmad was reported as saying. According to Wan Ahmad, road users caught using the emergency lane can be charged under the JPJ Act, 1987. “Offenders can be fined up to RM2,000 or up to six months jail, or both,” he said.

In an earlier report, traffic police chief Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mohd Nadzri Hussain said that no vehicle is allowed to use the emergency lane, even motorcycles. He said this in response to another Facebook post showing some riders kicking off the wing mirrors of cars using the highway emergency lane during a traffic jam, pointing out the bikers were not supposed to be there.

So, there you have it, the law is the law, and states unequivocally that no vehicles are allowed to use the emergency lane unless authorised. But, with traffic conditions the way they are on Malaysian highways, especially during festive season and long holidays, and during rush hour, the police and JPJ do not enforce this law on motorcyclists in the interests of keeping traffic moving and the safety of all road users.

What do you think? Does being pragmatic and allowing motorcyclists to use the emergency lane a good thing, especially during heavy traffic? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions, below.