PETALING JAYA: The size and speed of micromobility vehicles such as mopeds and escooters make them a hazard on public roads, says the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety and Research (Miros).

Its director-general Datuk Dr Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim said allowing these lighter modes of transport on roads that are meant for larger vehicles put them at high risk.

“In Malaysia, the crash record data specific to micromobility vehicles, other than bicycles, such as escooters and mopeds is too scarce to make a meaningful comparison on risk compared to other vehicles.

“However, the risk inherent to micromobility is obviously due to its size and speed.

“Sharing the road with mixed traffic consisting of larger and faster vehicles would definitely be dangerous as micromobility vehicles are just as vulnerable as pedestrians,” he said in a statement to The Star.

Khairil Anwar explained that the term micromobility is still new and existing crash records would only categorise them as “bicycle crashes” which could include mopeds or other micromobility vehicles.

Citing a 2021 case in Johor where two senior citizens were killed after their electric bicycle collided with a lorry, he said their vehicles would have been listed in the moped category under the Transport Ministry’s definition today.

Micromobility vehicles are defined by the ministry as vehicles powered by electricity, an internal combustion engine, or human power with a maximum speed of 50kph.

The ministry’s ban, announced by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong on Tuesday, covers mopeds, personal mobility aids such as motorised wheelchairs, and personal mobility devices, which include escooters and skateboards.

These devices are prohibited from being used on the road, including at pedestrian crossings.

Bicycles are allowed on roads but their use must comply with existing road regulations under the Road Transport Act 1987.

On the use of micromobility vehicles at parks, sidewalks and cycle lanes, Khairil Anwar said these are dependent on regulations set by local authorities.

“High-speed micromobility usage (more than 25kph) on the shared lane could pose a danger to other users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

“To ensure safety, local authorities such as city councils should come up with a guideline on the use of micromobility vehicles in their areas,” he added.

While agreeing that the safest way to allow the movement of micromobility vehicles is to create dedicated pathways, Khairil Anwar said more studies need to be put into this.

“The safest way is for them to have their own pathway.

“However, more consideration needs to be taken for shared paths like cycling lanes or walkways as high-speed micromobility (25kph) could endanger other users,” he added.