Over the past year more and more cyclist have taken to the roads. With other road users and pedestrians claiming that these road cyclists do not care about their safety or the safety of others on the road.
As cyclists and they feel that they too have the right to be on the road and that they adhere to road safety rules. Cyclist also feel that as the most vulnerable of the road users - there should be more done for them and that road users (motorcycles, cars, buses, lorries) should give them way and a wider berth.
On pedestrian walkways, cyclists feel that they have the right of way and that pedestrians should look where they are going, they should walk on the left and give way to them too.
Pedestrians feel that cyclists who whiz past them are endangering their safety. Also if any thing should happen first they may not know who injured them and second they may not be insured or covered by insurance.
On the roads we hear drivers and motorcyclists both calling out bad cycling behaviours. From travelling in large packs of cyclists, to occupying entire lanes, to slowing down traffic but then more dangerous - weaving in and out of traffic, ignoring stop signs and traffic lights.
We have now seen cyclists crossing red lights only to be knocked down by a car with the right of way (green light in favour of the car), we seen videos of cyclists occupying and cycling in what looks like a drunken manner while trying to turn right. We have seen videos of groups of cyclists with more than 20 cyclists.
Or the video where a cyclist was trying to use his phone to take a video of a car accident but instead rear ended a properly parked car and then ran off after smashing the rear windscreen?
Of course we had Tay Ping Hui share his video and his thoughts about cyclists who did not stop and filtered into the main road expecting cars to give way instead.
We had Ho Ching the Temasek CEO and wife of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong who also called for cyclists to be registered and insured.
Yes we need more emphasis on education yet many of these cyclist may already be licensed drivers or riders. But maybe they forget that while they are in a car, lorry or bus, it is very different when they are on the roads as a cyclist.
As a cyclists they are pursuing their leisure, their hobby but other road users are on the roads for transportation and work.
Even as far back as 2013, former Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah had suggested that cyclists be required to take safety lessons before being issued licences. This suggestion was revisited in 2016 though numerous letters to the newspapers
However if we do not register and force cyclists to purchase insurance- what happens in an accident?
Of course cyclist will say that errant drivers on the roads too have gone through training, testing and licensing but that does not stop them from driving badly.
However there is a difference- with errant drivers- they can be identified, their vehicle numbers can be submitted to the traffic police, they are insured and people who get involved in an incident may be covered.
Whereas errant cyclists go scottfree