Go beyond accident statistics

Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo said the "careless behaviour of a small minority" of cyclists and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) has led to accidents ("'Small minority' of cyclists, mobility device users careless; Tuesday).

However, there are many more cyclists and PMD users who ride recklessly along footpaths without due consideration for the safety of pedestrians, but are incident free.

Just because this group of reckless users has not caused accidents does not mean our walkways are safe.

For example, it is common for speeding cyclists to not slow down when turning sharply towards Tampines Street 92, Tampines Industrial Park and Safra.

There are also many reckless PMD users who cross the junction in Tampines Avenue 1 while ignoring pedestrians' right of way.

These are the people the Government must tackle, and not just look at accident statistics.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has issued advisories to more than 700 cyclists and personal mobility device users for unsafe riding ("Unsafe cycling, riding: More than 700 caught"; Oct 6).

Enforcement against PMD users is difficult. By the time officers arrive at a scene, the culprits would have already left.

One solution is to beef up the LTA's Active Mobility Enforcement team with more officers deployed around the island and not just on an ad hoc basis.

As the network of cycling paths expands, it is more critical to increase enforcement, with added focus on areas with many elderly pedestrians commuting daily on foot.

Let's not wait for more accidents to happen before we reclassify the "small minority" as a major problem.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2016, with the headline 'Go beyond accident statistics'. Print Edition | Subscribe