Forum: License cyclists to enhance safety for all road users

With an increased number of gig workers who rely on cycling to deliver food and products, roads in Singapore are getting more congested.

Serious accidents and fatalities involving cyclists on the road continue to endanger the lives of not only cyclists, but also pedestrians and other road users.

There are numerous examples or accounts of reckless cycling, despite the educational initiatives launched by the Safe Cycling Task Force to promote good cycling behaviour.

What baffles me are the different standards applied to road users. Drivers and motorcyclists are subject to strict standards, having to undergo compulsory driving lessons conducted by qualified personnel and pass rigorous theory and Traffic Police tests.

This is to ensure that drivers and motorcyclists know the safety requirements and the consequences of non-compliance.

However, cyclists on the road, whom drivers and motorcyclists are encouraged to consider as "fellow road users", are not subject to the same standards.

Although cyclists are encouraged to abide by the Highway Code, some may not have this knowledge, since it is not made compulsory for cyclists to learn it.

There are others who know the Highway Code but don't always comply because bicycles are not licensed. As a result, any law enforcement where an offence has been committed is made difficult.

I suggest the Traffic Police study the feasibility of licensing cyclists who want to ride on open roads.

Cyclists who keep only to bicycle paths and walkways can be exempted from licensing requirements. But those who use the roads should be subject to similar standards as those required of drivers and other road users - that is, to register their bicycles, get themselves licensed and minimally pass road-use theory and practical tests.

All road users should play an equal part in making Singapore roads a safer environment for commuting.

Loh Ying Bei