Singapore’s first-ever code of conduct for pedestrians was recently introduced, which is part of the measures first proposed last year by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel.
The code of conduct recommends pedestrians to stay off from shared paths by sticking to footpaths and pedestrian crossings, keep to the left on all paths unless overtaking another pedestrian, and stay alert when walking on paths.
Pedestrians should also “refrain from using a mobile communication device or operating any of its communication or other functions – such as listening to music – in a manner as will prevent the pedestrian from detecting danger or oncoming obstacles”.
Following this announcement, the Workers’ Party (WP) member Dennis Tan Lip Fong took to his Facebook on Wednesday (5 Aug) to say that the introduction of the code of conduct for pedestrians is “good though overdue”.
Citing an article by The Straits Times on the aforementioned code of conduct, Mr Tan, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hougang SMC, started off by expressing that he is not a “keen supporter” of the idea of cyclists sharing footpaths with pedestrians.
When the Government introduced the Active Mobility laws a few years ago which allowed cyclists to use footpaths for the first time, he noted that he had raised the issue of Singapore’s “poor cycling culture” – riding against traffic, beating red light and on footpaths, etc.
Mr Tan said that he brought up about the “lack of enforcement against errant cyclists” over the years, highlighting the need for “consistent enforcement and good public education” in order to make a difference.
“I have said many times that public education cannot be for cyclists and PMD riders alone but all users of footpaths including the need to push the knowledge to the majority who may not have signed up for the Safe Riding courses or looked up the rules online on their own,” he added.
Hence, while Mr Tan acknowledges that the introduction of the code of conduct for pedestrians is good, he feels that it is overdue.
Nonetheless, he calls for the Government to follow through with the new regulations and see to it that there is “effective public education for all users” as well as ensuring that all footpath users – both riders and pedestrians – “know and practise what is set out in the code of conduct”.