Forum: Licensing cyclists not the answer to road safety

I do not think that a licensing requirement for cyclists is the answer to safer roads. (Cyclists, PMD users on roads: Take interim steps to boost safety, by Mr Gabriel Ong, Sept 16).

Case in point: It is not uncommon to see drivers, all of whom are licensed and have gone through extensive lessons, moving from the third lane to the first without signalling in advance.

Logistically, licensing cyclists would be near impossible to implement and enforce. For example, how big of a licence plate would be needed for enforcement cameras to be able to capture the information, and where would such a licence plate be placed on a bicycle?

In private estates, there are children who cycle leisurely on the quiet roads frequently. Should they, some as young as five or six years old, be expected to first pass a basic theory test?

Cycling is a key solution in Singapore's bid to become a car-lite nation. Any requirement to license cyclists would be detrimental to that objective as more people would be less inclined to cycle, given the hassle.

This would then also hurt national efforts to lower obesity rates, given that cycling is a great form of exercise.

Instead, perhaps the authorities could work into schools' physical education curriculum a yearly lesson on safe cycling.

As for adults, it should be their prerogative to learn about and practise safe cycling on the roads, augmented by continuing efforts by the Safe Cycling Task Force. After all, it is said that road cyclists have "skin in the game" - many are keenly aware that any accident or mistake they make on the road will likely result in some form of injury.

As a driver myself, I think drivers should also be aware of cyclists on the road, and not act aggressively and dangerously just because we lose a few seconds from having to slow down or manoeuvre around them. That, to me, is the real key towards road safety for all users.

Tan Yi Shu

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