Picking up stray bikes sends wrong message

Picking up a stray bike will send the wrong signal that it is all right to litter (See a stray bike? Move it to the right spot, by Dr Thomas Lee Hock Seng; May 29).

Doing so will not encourage responsible bike-sharing and may embolden more users to be irresponsible.

If we pick up stray bikes, we are dealing with only the outcome of the problem and not the problem itself, which is bike littering.

We should not cultivate a culture of "litter first, collect later".

The core of the problem is how agencies work together with the bike providers.

When I spotted stray bikes in the past, I took photos and sent them to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), which then asked me to contact the providers.

I sent the photos to my town council too, which promised to work with the providers to curb the nuisance.

I then sent the photos to the providers, which replied that they would send a maintenance team to locate the bikes.

It seems no one knows who is authorised to act because there is no law on this issue.

The LTA, town councils and MPs must form a council to tackle this problem and work with the providers.

Perhaps a team of Active Mobility Enforcement Officers could be set up to book offenders.

Providers may be fined heavily, and bike litterers may also be given a Corrective Work Order.

Providers must also be allowed to impose a deposit for use of their service. Those who dump the bikes will have their deposits forfeited, and may be banned for, say, two years.

People tend to take things seriously only when their pockets are hurt.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2017, with the headline 'Picking up stray bikes sends wrong message'. Print Edition | Subscribe