Remember when news of people in Malaysia abusing the bicycles provided by the bike-sharing service, oBike surfaced?
Now, it looks like the company is fighting back against these vandals and is working closely with the police to catch them. Those vandals better be careful!
According to MMO, oBike said that they are serious about tackling the bouts of vandalism that they experienced with their property. Those vandals left bikes hanging on trees, threw them into drains or just simply dismantled some of their parts!
oBike marketing manager Elaine Chan said that they have added several new safety and security features on its bicycles to deter these vandals as well. Some of these features include permanently-fixed saddles, upgrading their smart locks, and updating the app to inform the rider as soon as he or she exits the specified zones.
Plus, if any of these non civic-minded people are caught damaging any oBikes, they could very well be charged in court and land in jail. Don’t play play, ah! Chan said that vandals caught tampering with the bicycles can be prosecuted under Section 427 of the Penal Code with committing mischief that may be punishable with a maximum of five years jail, a fine, or both, if found guilty.
“We always take the police’s advice in tackling this issue. Not just the police, but local authorities, hotels and transport agencies are also helping us by providing information about vandalism that can be used as evidence for police reports,” Chan said.
The vandalism has gotten so bad that some people even had the nerve to steal and break the bicycles at home. Chan added that customers who parked the bicycles in non-designated spaces such as private property would be deemed thieves and may face legal action.
To further improve their bicycle-sharing services and curb vandalism, Chan said that when an oBike rider registers an account with them, they would receive 100 credit points. If they follow the rules and park correctly, they will only have to pay 50 sen per hour.
However, if they decide to flout the rules and park incorrectly, 20 points will be deducted each time and they will have to pay a higher fee.
Luckily, the losses faced by oBike because of these vandals are still “manageable”. Chan said, “Vandalism is not exclusive to any demographic, because it is part of human behaviour. What is important is the cooperation to reduce the rate of vandalism.”
Be civic minded guys, and use public property with care!