BY PETRONELLA FELIX & RACHEL MINA
KUCHING: Of late, there have been growing complaints from motorists about the recklessness of some p-hailing riders, which posed a danger not only to themselves but other road users as well.
In some instances, the p-hailing riders were caught beating traffic lights and committing other traffic violations.
This has been blamed on the increasing demand by customers for fast delivery of their orders.
The p-hailing riders — in their haste to meet this and to a certain extent, boost sales and commission figures — have become less attentive on the road.
Some riders confessed that they were constantly rushing to meet customer expectations.
To better understand the situation, New Sarawak Tribune spoke to several members of the public, including p-hailing riders.
“I’m aware of their need to meet customer satisfaction and make ends meet but is it worth putting other road users’ safety and their own at risk?” Azwan Azawanie Mohamad questioned.
The 30-year-old customer service staff said while most were vigilant, some of the riders were undoubtedly flouting safety regulations.
Azwan added that he had encountered riders merging into traffic recklessly.
Customer service head Noor Fatihah Saliman, 25, said: “They should not expect other road users to keep an eye out for them all the time.”
She said that while slapping traffic compounds on them could mitigate the issue, it was difficult to report irresponsible riders unless every vehicle is equipped with dashboard cameras.
“To lodge a proper report, we need evidence; however, we cannot possibly whip out our mobile phones to record them while we are driving because then we will also endanger others.”
Meanwhile, Anim Lim Heng said aside from endangering themselves and other people, the irresponsible riders would also create a negative image of their p-hailing companies.
“If such complaints keep on occurring, the public will start generalising riders from such companies as irresponsible and creating a stereotype that all p-hailing riders are reckless.”
While she acknowledged that their earnings are based on their daily track record, the 53-year-old teacher pointed out that the riders should be mindful of their responsibility to maintain the good image of their p-hailing companies too.
At the same time, she stressed that it was the p-hailing companies’ duty to ensure that their riders have insurance coverage and that the motorcycles or bikes are in good condition.
In response to the complaints, p-hailing rider Nurazimah Zainal said: “Our income relies on the number of orders we complete in a day, so there are times that we cannot help but to ride fast.”
The 23-year-old opined that it was unfair for road users to point their fingers at p-hailing riders because all road users should play their part when it comes to road safety.
“Most of us are vigilant when we are on the road although we are rushing, and sometimes the danger is posed by the lack of tolerance for us riders.”
She urged the public to understand and tolerate that their work required them to constantly rush against time to make ends meet.
Another p-hailing rider, Mohamad Mustaqim Mohamad Fendi, 18, said: “Instead of putting the blame on one party, perhaps another solution is for all road users to be extra vigilant on the road.”
He also urged customers to be considerate of any slight delay of delivery as riders put their lives on the line to deliver their orders in time.
However, a regular p-hailing customer, Cecilia Anyum, 23, said riders should not put their lives on the line just to meet the expectations of customers.
She said although they had agreed to meet delivery deadlines, this did not imply that riders should disregard their own safety and that of others.
The marketing staff said: “If they faced any difficulties along the way, they could always notify their customers through the app. I am sure the customers will understand.”
While emphasising the need of a two-way communication between riders and customers, she also urged customers to be considerate.
“I suggest ordering food before peak hours or a little sooner than mealtime if you demand your food delivered ‘hot’ and on the dot.”