Stop blame game, learn to be gracious road users

A cyclist and a pedestrian on a shared path at Tampines Street 82.
A cyclist and a pedestrian on a shared path at Tampines Street 82.PHOTO: ST FILE

Mr Allein Godfrey Moore's argument that bicycles are best used in the parks for leisure is understandable ("Reconsider plans for shared footpaths" ; last Friday).

However, people who use their bicycles for leisure also include those who cycle to the market, or to and from meals.

This group can comprise the young and elderly who cycle slowly on the pavement, as the roads are too dangerous for them.

Surely we do not want to see them on the road with motor vehicles whizzing past them.

With the expansion of the park connector network and wider shared paths, there is also a growing number of people who commute to work on bicycles or personal mobility devices (PMDs).

Some use the roads, but there are many motorists who drive dangerously close to them.

From personal experience, I find that pedestrians usually contribute equally when there is an accident with a cyclist or PMD user.

Many pedestrians have their eyes glued to their mobile phones while walking and are oblivious to what is going on around them.

Accidents happen when they make abrupt movements, such as stopping or turning. Even as a pedestrian, I have knocked into people who stopped abruptly in front of me.

Instead of playing the blame game when accidents happen, we should learn to be more gracious to one another while out on our commute.

Irresponsible or ungracious acts cause many accidents. On the other hand, giving way to a fellow commuter takes up only a few extra seconds and does not spoil the day for anyone.

Educating all road users on responsible behaviour is the way forward.

Charles Tan Kim Seng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2016, with the headline 'Stop blame game, learn to be gracious road users'. Print Edition | Subscribe