Dangerous overtake by lorry

Post by Raymond Khoo 09-01-2019

Has recent bias media coverage encourage drivers to deliberately try to kill people?”

This can be a “Visible education on how the driver should behave around other vulnerable road users such as cyclist and motorcyclist should be seen more often or promoted through safety campaign. The vague signage such as “beware of cyclist” and poorly design safety advert can be easily misinterpreted by road users.

Typical drivers give sufficient space. I really appreciate they do that with graciousness and patience. However, this sufficient space can be 1.5m, 1m or can be 50 or 30cm depending on the driver. Personally, I feel at least 1m distance away from the edge of my handlebar is safe. And occasionally very dangerously they decide to show you who is boss, pushing you off the road. 

When you meet them down the road, nicely tell them it is dangerous for them to do that, you always get stupid excuse.. you got no mirror, you never pay road tax, you think you motorcycle, I never hit you what. So it is kinda pointless to point out their wrong doing or unsafe behavior.

This is unacceptable, and the law should be set in place to protect normal road users.

I believe majority of cyclist here just want to cycle safely and are not targeting any Strava record and want to get home safe to family and friends.

Another aspect of this, from my observation and experience over the years riding, drivers tend bully single / lone rider more often than larger cyclist group either due to cyclists road presence or it is psychologically harder to bully a bigger group.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lovecyclingsg/permalink/2088402064550464/

Greg and his folding bike

Published with the permission from Greg Choong
Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lovecyclingsg/?multi_permalinks=2083500828373921

First TGIF in 2019..! So much drama in the community leading into the new year, I’m sure some good will come out of it.

After adopting cycling first for so many years into my career, I found that it wasn’t impossible. I drove less and now I have no name on any valid COE, and when I started off, there was no Uber, no Grab, just taxis when you needed most and they weren’t around for you, so to stop driving was a pain.

The only decent exercise I had during my jet setting years was the hotel gym, never liked it coz i felt like a mice running on some silly stationary thingy. Then I started to fly with my bike and traded gym with fantastic city cycling, never looked back.

Those were easy but what I was fearing if I could push it further by cycling into meeting rooms, in some foreign countries where cycling wasn’t perceived for people with suit, I pondered. I shouldn’t, I remember when I first rode into one, I made friends with the receptionists, never knew they were more interesting people than me. Love it when they first asked me for their parcels whahahaha. And the people in the meeting room started to doze off less as they were pretty amused by my folded bike sitting beside the projector screen. I had their attention for sure, including my presentations whahahaha. And it was more fun during breaks when they had more questions about my bike than my products, and still bought my products in the end  ūüėČ

Over time when most of my biz partners understand why I ride, funny thing they also started riding themselves, to the point that when they visited me in SG, they demanded I bring them cycling. Of coz I brought them to our hawker centres too, we ditched the China Clubs, they never complained as they were distracted by our beautiful side of the city they never knew, from some who visit SG so frequently for so many years, I was laughing.

I’m glad Uber/Grab came into the scene and there are more options not to own or drive which made these riding even more plausible. You should try some day, it’s possible, even in sunny SG, my meetings have moved to outdoor and into PCNs or Starbucks that allow me to park my bikes comfortable, my fav one is located near MBS. You don’t miss air-con much, even in colder countries, you don’t miss heating too coz I hardly feel cold when I’m on the move.

So don’t perceive cycling are for leisures, or NTUC grocery ride, they can of coz, they are equally good to be included as part of your corporate/working lifestyle.

????, give it a try. Ride safe and ride far my friends! Happy New Year!

Long vehicle is a death trap

Sometimes cyclists blame the lorry driver for a dangerous act but instead, it can be totally unintentional. One example is to do with the long vehicles. Long vehicles such as buses, heavy goods vehicles or container trucks are very dangerous for cyclists. As cyclists, we should try to stay away from these long vehicles as much as possible.

The driver of a long vehicle has a lot of blind spots to take care of, it is not easy for him/her to detect all of their surroundings. When long vehicles make a turn, the front truck has to make a wide turn and the rear trailer will get very close or even hitting the curb. A cyclist riding next to such long vehicle can be easily trapped in a ‚Äúdeath zone‚ÄĚ when the truck is making a turn. The driver would not even notice until it is too late. Here is a short animation showing how this can happen within a couple of seconds:

Cyclist hit by left turning trailer

Next time if you see a long vehicle approaching a junction, better stay back and wait for it to clear before proceeding as in the video below. It can save your life.

Cyclist wait for the trailer to clear the turn before proceeding

How do motorists and cyclists misunderstand each other (2)?

Continuing from the first article, this second part is to illustrate another misunderstanding ‚Äď cyclists riding two abreast.

Many motorists consider cyclists riding two abreast as ‚Äúselfishly blocking the whole lane‚ÄĚ. Some of us cyclists are drivers too and we do understand it can be frustrating to follow a group of cyclist. However, there must be a reason why the RTA (Road Traffic Act) allows cyclists to ride two abreast. In fact, there is a very good reason, and it is not only safer for the cyclist but is also more convenient for the motorist.

Consider the following scenario, a car sharing a traffic lane with 4 cyclists travelling as a group. If the 4 cyclists are riding in single file, it is tempting for a driver to overtake within the same lane even though this is not the right way to do. Trying to “squeeze” to overtake within the same lane is dangerous because the driver may need to inch out of the lane and risk impact with cars coming from behind on the second lane. Furthermore, it will take a longer time and distance for them to clear the whole group of cyclists. Finally, if the driver wants to make a left turn, he would have to stop and wait until all 4 cyclists cleared the junction completely. During the waiting period, he may block the traffic behind and may miss the last one or two cyclists and “left hook” them.

Here is a short animation showing four cyclists riding in a single file can cause longer delay before a car can make a left turn.

4 cyclists in single file, car follow behind before turning left

4 cyclists in single file, car follow behind before turning left?

Sometimes an impatient driver may try to overtake the group of cyclist, but he would be blocked by the row of moving cyclists and worst, he had to come to a total stop and blocking the traffic. The car still need to wait for the whole row of cyclists to clear before making the left turn.

4 cyclists in single file
4 cyclists in single file blocking a car from turning left

Alternatively, the two abreast riding formation makes it a lot easier for the same red car driver to proceed without any stopping moment. The driver will feel more relaxed as he won‚Äôt have to worry about cyclists coming from behind in his blind spot. Simply slow down, follow the group of cyclists for a short while, let them all clear the junction and the driver can make a safe left turn.

cycling 2 abreast
it is easier for driver to follow cyclists riding two abreast

Some people may feel riding two abreast is “blocking the traffic” and therefore it is prohibited. This is not true. As long as the cyclists keep to the left lane, faster vehicles can change to the next lane and overtake on their right. This scenario is no different to fast vehicle overtake another slower vehicle.

To make it more clear, below is a demonstration of a group of cyclists occupying all the lanes and blocking the traffic. This is clearly not the way to go and is indeed prohibited by Road Traffic Rules.

Hopefully, this short article helps to dissolve another misunderstanding between cyclists and motorists. Next time when you see cyclists riding two abreast taking up the whole lane, thank them for being considerate instead of getting angry 

How do motorists and cyclists misunderstand each other (1)?

Cyclist riding too close and hit by left-turning car

How do motorists and cyclists misunderstand each other? (1)

When cyclists and motorists share the road, it is important for both parties to be considerate to each other. The cyclist, being the slower mover, should try not to obstruct traffic, provided it is safe and practical to do so. On the other hand, being the operator of a powerful and potentially deadly machine, the driver must allow extra safety space when they approach vulnerable cyclists. Courtesy should be common sense, but when a cyclist’s action is misunderstood by a motorist, it may lead to anger and even reckless behaviour, as in the recent altercation between the lorry and the cyclist. (At the start of the video, it seemed like the lorry tailgated very close and tried to squeeze past the cyclist dangerously. Then the cyclist seemed to be provoked, didn’t want to give way while waiting at the traffic light, and later smashed the side mirror of the lorry. In the end, the lorry swung toward the cyclist and pushed him onto the grass verge.)

Cycling in Singapore roads is challenging. Cycling with fast-moving traffic requires an awareness of the traffic situation, adapting bicycle handling skills, and confidence to ride in a stable and predictable manner.

Most of the time, the safest position for a single cyclist is near the left side of the road, as recommended by the Road Traffic Act (RTA).

Road Traffic Act (Bicycle) Rules 8.  A person who rides a bicycle, power-assisted bicycle, trishaw or tricycle on a road must ride the bicycle, power-assisted bicycle, trishaw or tricycle as near as practicable to the far left edge of the road.

However, sometimes it is neither practical nor safe to remain in the leftmost position. Below are a few examples:

1- Going straight at an intersection:
Before approaching an intersection, it is safer for a cyclist to ride near the centre of the lane if he/she wants to go straight. This helps to prevent left turning car from dangerously overtaking and cutting in front of the cyclist (Left-hook).

Here is a short animation showing a cyclist riding too close to the curb and hit by a left-turning car.

Cyclist riding too close and hit by left-turning car
Cyclist riding too close to the curb and hit by left-turning car

To prevent left-hook accidents, experienced cyclists will “take the lane” by riding near the centre. This positioning temperately prevents the motorist from overtaking within the same lane. A left turning car will be forced to slow down behind the cyclist. Once the cyclist has cleared the junction, the motorist can make the left turn safely. The cyclist will then shift back toward the left after crossing the junction. This is shown in the animation below.

Cyclist riding at centre of lane prevented left-hooked by turning cars.
Cyclist riding at centre of lane prevented left-hooked by turning cars.

2- Going straight next to dedicated left-turning lane:
If a cyclist needs to go straight but the leftmost lane is reserved for left-turning, he/she will have to take the next lane which is going straight. This would appear to the drivers as “cycling in the middle of the road”.

3- Where the edge of the road is not well paved:
It is safer to stay away from the double yellow lines on the left to avoid sudden potholes or uneven metal grilling. Bicycle wheels are thin and light, and even a small protrusion can send the cyclist flying.

Typically, fast cyclists (>25 km/h) prefer using the centre of the lane in order to secure a bigger safety buffer. Slow cyclists (<15km/h) normally stay nearer to the double yellow lines to avoid obstructing the traffic or from being hit from behind.

I hope this short article helps to clarify some misunderstanding. Next time if you see a cyclists not riding at the left edge of the road, it may be due to one of the above situation. Allow him some slack and just relax.

Likewise, I believe there are cases when cyclist misread the intention of a driver, becomes upset, angry and even reckless as shown in this recent case above, which is totally unnecessary.

If given a second chance, I’m sure both the lorry driver and the cyclist would slow down and to give way to each other, rather than wasting time with the insurance agent, lawyer, the police, repair mechanic and doctor in the hospital.

In the end, what we all want is simply to go home safe, isn’t it.

Part 2, why cyclists riding two abreast blocking the whole lane?

Legalise pedestrian priority on footpath

By Francis Chu, Ex-member of AMAP

Archive / Generic – A man seen dismount and push his e-scooter while using the pedestrian crossing along Bishan Street 11 on March 6, 2018. Photo: Koh Mui Fong/TODAY

Legalise pedestrian priority on footpath

When government legalised cycling and riding PMD on pavement, they should simultaneously give legal priority to pedestrians on the same pathway.  After all, pavement or footpath were originally designed for walking. Cyclists and PMD riders are essentially a “guest”, borrowing the path from the pedestrians, to avoid the danger on road.

Ambiguity (of the right of way on pavement) caused confusion, and that increases the chances of accidents. 
If all riders simply give ways to pedestrians, chances of accidents will be drastically reduced.                 РFrancis Chu  2018-12-17


Over the last few years, due to the lack of clear priority for pedestrians, some selfish (fast) riders feel that they have equal right and demand pedestrians to give way. Such mindset is the root cause of many unnecessary accidents. 
I agree with the readers of TODAY newspaper (2018-12-17), that “registration of e-scooters and penalties are not enough as safeguards for pedestrian safety”


We need to establish clarity in law that pedestrians has the priority on pavement and walkway. In cases of any accident between device rider and pedestrian, the rider has to face the legal consequence, unless he/she can prove the accident is totally not caused by him/her.

https://www.todayonline.com/voices/registration-e-scooters-and-penalties-not-enough-safeguards-pedestrian-safety

Allow PMD riders to use the road

Another useful idea to improve safety of pedestrian is to allow PMD riders to have the flexibility to use the road when it is safe, just as cyclists do.  The current rules disallow PMD to ride on all roads even when there is no traffic. This is effectively forcing the (PMD) danger on pedestrians unnecessary. This is illogical especially when considering some PMD looks and ride exactly like a eBike, and eBike has to use the road!

Who should give way at Pedestrian crossing?

Who should give way at the Pedestrian crossing? The driver or the pedestrian?
I’m not joking, this is a genuine question.

20 years ago when I first came to Singapore, it was very clear-cut. At zebra crossing the pedestrian is king. Motorists would slow down and give way to people who is crossing or prepare to cross. However, over the years, the protection offered by the pedestrian crossing seems deteriorated.  You are now STRONGLY ADVISED to STOP and check, to make sure the cars have stopped before crossing.

On the other hand, some drivers are showing little respect to pedestrian crossing. e.g.

  • It is common to see cars encroach and block the zebra crossing.
  • At traffic intersection, impatient drivers cut in between crossing pedestrians to make a right turn.


Some drivers drive through as people waiting at zebra crossing.    video credit: Boonchun

Such disrespect to the pedestrian crossing may have been “legitimised” by a recent communication from LTA.

Stop before crossing zebra

Given the deteriorated driving culture, the first part of the message is not wrong. Couple with the graphical images it almost sound like a death threat.

Taking simple precautions while riding your devices in public can help save lives. Riders, stay safe on the road by sparing a few seconds to stop and check that it is safe before crossing.

However, the second part of the message is worrying:

Motorist can also play a part in exercising patience, slowing down and looking out for pedestrians, cyclists and PMD riders at crossings before driving.

This make it sounds as if the driver’s part is optional. Is this a reflection of the reality, or does LTA really believe the driver should not play the dominant role in road safety?

Famous local blogger Mr. Brown posted in FaceBook yesterday:

This is why drivers often almost kill pedestrians at zebra crossings. The Land Transport Authority tells pedestrians to ‚ÄúStop. Look. Cross.‚ÄĚ while telling drivers they can just ‚ÄúSlow. Check. Drive.‚ÄĚ

When in reality, the onus should be on drivers to ‚ÄúSlow the Heck Down. Stop. Look. Look Again. Then Drive.‚ÄĚ

……..

Of course we are responsible for our personal safety, and we must teach our kids things like don’t look at their phones while crossing roads, and so on. But the law must always protect the weaker users first. The hammer must always come down harder on the person wielding the vehicle that can kill.

……

Van almost hit student at zebra crossing.

The recent episodes remind me of a controversial case in 2015.

Pedestrians with right of way ‘must still share responsibility’

Is crossing at green man really safe? Or jaywalk safer?

Even if the lights are in their favour, pedestrians still have to check for oncoming traffic.

This was held in a rare 2-1 Court of Appeal decision in which the Chief Justice dissented.

Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin and Justice Quentin Loh, who were in the majority, explained their reasoning by highlighting a Highway Code rule that requires pedestrians to be on the alert.

“Pedestrians should take charge of their own safety,” the court said in judgment grounds issued on Thursday, and decided the injured victim in the case before it was 15 per cent to blame despite having the right of way.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, who wrote a separate view explaining his objections, said the ruling means

“that pedestrians will no longer be able to take comfort in the fact that they are crossing at a point controlled by a police officer or by traffic lights”.

“They will have to safeguard themselves in precisely the same manner in such circumstances as if they were jaywalking.”

Indeed, if the rule of law is so powerless, what’s the meaning of traffic rules and priority?

I’m not expert in law, but since young, my mother told me “must follow the law” because only bad guy breaks the law. As a layman, I understand the law is a clear reference to judge what is right or wrong.

One of the recent Active Mobility Advisory Panel recommendation is to introduce mandatory stop for cyclists and PMD users before they cross a pedestrian crossing, while drivers were only strongly encouraged to slow down and check.

I have difficulty to understand, why this new law stress that people who need to cross the road MUST STOP and check in order to protect themselves, while the driver, who can get others hurt, were only encouraged to SLOW down, check and drive? 

What if there is no car in sight and I just run/cycle/scoot across the zebra without stopping, will I break the law?

What if a driver “SLOW” down from 50kph to 49kph and dash across the zebra while people waiting to cross, is that OK?

Such statement in law send a conflicting and dangerous message to the average driver and which may legitimise an aggressive driving culture.

Refining the Mandatory Helmet Law (MHL) in Singapore

It is not as simple as “Helmet saves lives”.

Mandating helmet wearing does not prevent accidents on the road, yet it comes with side-effects that can have a negative impact on cycling in general.

How can we reduce the negative impact of the new Mandatory Helmet Law while saving the high-risk cyclists during an accident?

______________________________________________

Ideas that help to refine the MHL:

  • Limit MHL for Sporty road bikes on¬†roads with speed limit above 50km/h.
  • Exempt Share bike, Folding bikes, MTB, Upright sitting bikes, or any Non-Sport Road bikes from the MHL. They may choose to wear or not to wear helmet freely.
  • in addition, enhance education targeted at young cyclists.

______________________________________________

 

Helmet wearing and Helmet laws are hot topics in any cycling forum. There is a heated debate with strong opinions on both sides. In any case, introducing the MHL (Mandatory helmet law) is not as simple as ‚ÄúHelmet saves lives‚ÄĚ. There are implications and ‚Äúside effects‚ÄĚ which can severely limit the initial intent of protecting the cyclists.

There is a significant difference between ‚ÄúAdvice‚ÄĚ, and ‚ÄúMandating by law‚ÄĚ, to wear a helmet while cycling on roads.
The former, ‚ÄúAdvisory‚ÄĚ, allows a person to exercise his or her own freedom to decide when and where it is necessary to wear or not to wear a helmet. The latter, ‚ÄúMandatory‚ÄĚ, limits the freedom when the individual feels it is really unnecessary to do so.

Up to 2018, cyclists are advised to wear a helmet when cycling on roads but it is not mandatory. As a result, both types of cyclists exist on the roads.

Every weekend, it is easy to spot groups of sports cyclists wearing helmets on their long-distance training rides along Mandai Road, Upper Thomson Road, or Tanah Merah Coast road.

On the other hand, much less obvious yet every day, there are numerous bicycle users in all parts of Singapore riding a bicycle or share bikes without a helmet. These include all walks of lives from young to old. They are usually slow riders and mostly ride on the sidewalks. However, from time to time, they also need to ride on the roads when it is safe and more convenient to do so.

From Traffic Police statistics, the yearly fatal road accidents involving bicycles and eBikes were below 20. It is a concern yet this figure is not particularly worse than in any other city. Cyclists not wearing a helmet and received fatal head injuries are not reported, it is estimated that the number is well below 10.

In a way, admitting that there is no better way to improve the road safety for cycling, the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) recommended the ‚ÄúMandatory Helmet Law‚ÄĚ on August 24th. On September 3rd, the recommendation was subsequently accepted by the Minister of Transport.

Accepting this fact, I wonder if there are ways to optimise the upcoming MHL in order to address the key safety issues of on-road cycling and to reduce potential negative ‚Äúside effects‚ÄĚ of cycling promotion in Singapore.

 

The issue: 

On roads, cyclists travel alongside larger and faster vehicles and are the most vulnerable users.¬† ‚Äď 2018-8-24, AMAP

The intention: 

In the event of an accident, wearing a protective helmet would reduce the impact and injuries suffered by the rider.  -2018-08-24, AMAP

The key limitations of MHL: 

  1. The helmet issue is a Red-Herring: The cyclist’s vulnerability on road is NOT due to lack of helmet wearing, instead, it is due to the lack of safe infrastructure (e.g. dual exit lanes to the Expressway) and dangerous behaviour of both drivers and cyclists (e.g. Using handphone while driving or cycling, driver overtaking within the same lane as the cyclist, cyclists riding too fast and too near the curb with an uneven surface). The helmet issue distracts the public from the real solutions we need to implement to prevent accidents from happening.
  2. Lack of data support: Cycling on road is not new. If cyclists on road are at greater risk, we should have local accident data to support the MHL. So far, there is no data showing on-road, non-helmeted cyclists receiving head injuries. Excluding the helmeted eBikes and Sports cyclists, the total number of cyclists involved in road accidents is not very high.
  3. International benchmark: out of 195 countries, Australia and NewZealand are the only ones to have countrywide Mandatory Helmet Law. Ironically, both countries tend to suffer from high cyclist fatality rate on roads and also lower bicycle usage.
  4. On the contrary, countries with high bicycle usage and good safety records don’t need MHL. A few examples are The Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Taiwan, China, UK, Germany.
  5. Share bike: Share bike has quickly become an important mode of transport over the last couple of years. In many areas, such as Joo Chiat and Sembawang, the cycling/walkway network is limited, most share bike users need to ride on the road. Having the MHL means that they will have to carry a helmet all the time just in case they may need to use the Share bike.
  6. Slow cyclist:¬†The vast majority of local bicycle users are slow cyclists like those ‚Äúuncles‚ÄĚ riding to a nearby market for a ‚Äúkopi‚ÄĚ or a mother bringing her kids to school. For safety, they usually cycle on walkways, which may appear that the MHL won‚Äôt affect them. However, in practice, most of them need to ride on the road for 10-30% of their usual trips. This is due to disconnections between walkways and shared paths. The MHL would force them to carry a helmet for the daily trip, which they have been doing for decades safely without a helmet.
  7. Reckless youngsters: There are a number of young riders nowadays who cycles on the roads quite recklessly. Given the way they are riding on or off roads, in an accident, the injury would bound to be serious or fatal. The MHL may reduce their risk of suffering from head injuries, but it will not shield them from other serious and fatal injuries. Education target at this group to increase their awareness will be more effective to improve their safety.
  8. Sports cyclist: This is another high-risk group due to their speed and proximity to fast traffics. Every weekend, it is easy to spot groups of sports cyclists along Mandai Road, Upper Thomson Road, or Tanah Merah Coast road. MHL will have no impact on Sports Cyclists because nearly all of them are already wearing a helmet without the law.

Refining the MHL: 

Going through the list above, the upcoming MHL is likely to have a negative impact for Share bike (4) and Slow cyclist (5), but it will have no negative impact for Sports cyclists (7). Perhaps it would make sense to target the MHL at the Sports cyclist but not the Share bike users and slow cyclists?

A couple of ideas that helps to refine the MHL:

  • Limit MHL for Sporty road bikes on¬†roads with speed limit above 50km/h
  • Limit MHL for Sporty road bikes on¬†roads with speed limit above 50km/h.
  • Exempt Share bike, Folding bikes, MTB, Upright sitting bikes, or any Non-Sport Road bikes from the MHL. They may choose to wear or not to wear a helmet freely.
  • in addition, enhance education targeted at young cyclists.

Besides MHL, there is a lot that can be done to improve the safety of road cycling more effectively:

e.g. 1.5 meter rule, 40km/h CBD and residential area, Mandatory stop before STOP LINE, Educate the lorry drivers, Refreshment courses for driving instructors, etc. It is disappointing that the only recommendation AMAP put forward this time is to put a helmet on road cyclists. I hope that the next time, they can shift their attention to the motorist community and environmental factors which are the major factors for cyclist’s safety.

Fundamentally, I believe road safety and cyclist’s safety should be improved by coherent policies, which support health, the environment, and without the legal requirement to wear a helmet.

Follow the conversation on FaceBook:

Reflection on the 2016 AMAP recommendation

The Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) has been instrumental in introducing cycling and PMD as a viable mode of transport for the public. For example, allowing the bicycle to be used on walkways helps many slow cyclists to avoid the risk from cars, which is possible after AMAP’s first recommendation in 2016. For that, I’m truly grateful and proud of being part of it.

However, in the midst of pushing for Active Mobility, I, as part of the AMAP members, had underestimated the stress and risks imposed on the pedestrians walking on the pavement.

This has led to a significant increase in the number of reported accidents involving PMDs, bicycles and power-assisted bicycles (PABs) on public paths, from 19 in 2015 to 42 in 2016 and to 128 in 2017. A number of them have resulted in serious injuries.¬† –¬† REVIEW OF ACTIVE MOBILITY REGULATIONS FOR SAFER PATH SHARING (2018-08-24)

Move towards a car-lite nation After eight months (EIGHT MONTHS!!) of work, this is the best a 14-member advisory panel could come up with -- otherwise known as:

The Stupidest Proposal. Ever. Chew On It! 2016-03

For pedestrian’s safety, it is stated in the Code of Conduct (COC) that bicycle and PMD riders should slow down when they approach the pedestrian. However, some riders ignore the COC because it is just an advisory (optional) and they tend to focus only on the (mandatory) law (15 km/h) and Regulation (20kg/25km/700mm).

The law is often a clear reference when a layman judge what is (morally) right or wrong.

Some riders take it as their entitled “right” to go at “legal speed limit” and demand the pedestrians to give way as they ring the bell.¬†In case of an accident, these riders blame¬†the pedestrian for unexpected movement, leaving them “no time to react”. However, they never admit the risk was created by themselves because they did not slow down when approaching the pedestrians.

I feel we need to protect the pedestrian by law.

On reflection, it was not logical to legally allow a new group of fast device riders on the pavement, without demanding the riders to control their device in order not to harm the public.

I was disappointed regarding the recent AMAP recommendations for walkways, which only suggested to lower the speed limit, but didn’t take the opportunity to address the issue of the legal requirement for responsible riding on the walkway.

Having said that, I must admit what AMAP in Singapore has done is very pioneering and groundbreaking. As far as I know, no another developed country has made it legal for adults to ride on the walkway, riders really need to treat this as a special privileged and to give priority to pedestrians who are more vulnerable. It is understandable that such a radical measure which has never been tried before may take some time to get right.

More thoughts on 2018 AMAP recommendations:

  1. Lower the speed limit on the pavement from 15km/h to 10km/h
  2. Mandatory for AM device users to stop and look out at road crossings before riding across at a slow speed

Follow the conversation on Facebook

Slow cycling training – a critical skill for safe cycling on foot paths

2017 LCSG bike handling and servicing workshop at East Coast Park

2017 LCSG bike handling and servicing workshop at East Coast Park

“How to cycle safely on foot path?”

This one of the most frequent asked question from new riders joining our Sunday rides. To be frank, no one want to hurt others but due to the inability to control their bike, new riders fear they may hurt others unintentionally. Observation over the years, I come to the conclusion that bike handling at slow speed is the key skill that every cyclist should acquire before they venture into footpath and sharing the space with pedestrians. I believe most accidents involve cyclists on foot path is due to the inability of controlling the bike at slow speed, or lack of awareness of blindspots. Such cyclists need to ride at speed in order to keep their balance, even when they approach pedestrians or blindspots.

Slow cycling skill¬†is not rocket science and can be learn fairly easily. It can be a fun personal challenge to see “how slow you can ride”.

Last week, with the support of NPark and OCBC, Lovecycling SG organised a “Slow bike handling skill workshop” at the Road¬†safety park at the East Coast Park. Encik George Lim, the¬†master trainer, guide the participants through a number of small challenges; started from stopping your bike, riding along a straight line, S-course and Zigzag course to¬†riding the 888 challenge.

At the end of the training, to test if everyone is ready to share paths with pedestrian, we throw in an “acid test” – ¬†simulation of a kid running randomly in the group of slow riding cyclists and see if everyone can avoid any accident. Sounds dangerous? Not really.

See for yourself here:

If you are interested in the step by step approach, here is a three minutes video summary:

More details of the entire workshop which include a bike servicing part can be found on Taiwoon’s blog.