By Alex Poh Aik
On more than a number of occasions, I’ve been hit by cyclists who rode too fast and refused to make way for pedestrians on pavements. Some of these bicycles even have small motors that make them even more hazardous.
I can fully understand that cycling is an important part of some people’s lives. It provides an effective form of transport for families, and is an enjoyable activity for the leisure cyclists.
However, there are many cyclists who ride like it’s their grandfather’s road, weaving in an out of crowds at high speeds, and ringing their bells wildly as if everyone owed them the right of way. Admittedly, some of these cyclists don’t sound Singaporean.
More must be done to regulate cycling in Singapore, particularly on pavements.
For a start, fines for causing hurt or nuisance through the use of a bicycle should be raised to a maximum of $1,000.
Just in case anyone thinks this amount is excessive, LTA’s maximum penalty for cycling down an overhead bridge is $1,000. Also, $1,000 is hefty enough to warrant a week-long jail term in default of the fine. So if you decide not to pay the fine, the court can choose to imprison you instead.
Enforcement of such laws should be done by LTA enforcement officers. This will be costly, so anyone who gets fined should also be made to reimburse the Government on a cost-recovery basis.
Educating cyclists on pavement rules is equally important, so a framework on registering and cautioning cyclists is needed. I’m not advocating a licensing requirement for cyclists.
For younger cyclists, their parents should be held responsible for their conduct. Parents are responsible for their children anyway, and should be responsible for training their children to cycle safely.
For cyclists aged 18 and above, they should be made to read, sign and acknowledge cycling regulations, which could be done at community centres, police stations and bicycle rental kiosks.
All this might sound severe, but it will only affect those who cycle dangerously.