Volunteers to peddle safe-cycling message to public

Sembawang residents embarking on a 15km cycling route with Cycle Safe Ambassador Benson Ng (right), 28, along Sembawang Road yesterday. Mr Ng is among the first 16 safe cycling ambassadors announced by Sembawang GRC yesterday.
Sembawang residents embarking on a 15km cycling route with Cycle Safe Ambassador Benson Ng (right), 28, along Sembawang Road yesterday. Mr Ng is among the first 16 safe cycling ambassadors announced by Sembawang GRC yesterday.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

200 volunteers will be trained as safe cycling ambassadors by March next year

More people are expected to turn to bicycles as a mode of transport for health reasons and as Singapore pushes for a "car-lite" regime.

So there is a need to learn the dos and don'ts of cycling. To do just that, the People's Association and the Singapore Cycling Federation have teamed up to train 200 volunteers as safe cycling ambassadors.

These ambassadors will take part in a six-hour course where they learn about bicycle safety tips - such as always wearing a helmet and light-coloured clothing, and having reflectors on the bicycle.

They will also pick up tips - like finding out how to adjust their seats to the right height so they do not hurt their knees when cycling.

Many cyclists now make the mistake of not wearing helmets, said Mr Azhar Yusof, 41, a trainer with the Singapore Cycling Federation.

"You may be a safe rider but someone else may not be. If you were to fall (while wearing a helmet), at least your head would be protected," he said.

TAKE NO CHANCES

You may be a safe rider but someone else may not be... if you were to fall, at least your head would be protected.

MR AZHAR YUSOF, a trainer with the Singapore Cycling Federation, on wearing helmets when cycling.

By March next year, there will be 200 ambassadors across Singapore whose role will be to engage cycling interest groups and spread the safe-riding message.

Yesterday, Sembawang group representation constituency announced the first 16 ambassadors at a 15km morning ride.

One of the ambassadors, Mr Julian Wong, 47, an IT specialist, said: "One of the things you take for granted is the traffic light crossing. You should actually dismount and push the bike so you don't accidentally hit other pedestrians."

These tips also apply to e-bike users, said Mr Thangarajoo Ramesh, vice-chairman of Sembawang Neighbourhood Committee.

There have been three e-bike deaths in Singapore the past month.

Mr Ramesh said: "We should be aware that more cyclists on the park connectors and roads would mean that all road users need to exercise more care and caution... We hope to bring together our residents who like to cycle and equip them with the necessary skills so that they can take care of themselves and others."

About 150 cycling enthusiasts took part in yesterday's event which started at the Sembawang Community Club.

They include 70 children aged four to six who were also given a cycling lesson at an indoor circuit.

Grassroot advisers including Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan and Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Defence Minister, were also at the event.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2016, with the headline 'Volunteers to peddle safe-cycling message to public'. Print Edition | Subscribe