Install mirrors at blind spots in junctions, walkways

Many people who cycle on the road often disobey traffic rules. Some move between the pedestrian paths and the road according to their own convenience.

Recently, a cyclist narrowly missed hitting me when he ran the red light at a pedestrian crossing.

Cyclists who ride on the road need to abide by the traffic rules. There is a need for stricter penalties to be meted out to those who ignore the rules.

Licensing for bicycles should be explored.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has stepped up enforcement on pathways, but this is not a panacea.

There also needs to be a focus on making walkways safer for pedestrians.

This includes widening the pathways where feasible and installing forms of warning, such as stop signs or mirrors, at blind spots which are prone to accidents.

I had previously written to the LTA to request that a convex mirror be installed at an accident-prone junction which is a blind spot for cyclists and pedestrians.

The LTA replied that it does not install convex mirrors for motorists to look out for cyclists and vice versa.

The authority added that cyclists were expected to follow a set of rules when travelling along footpaths.

In reality, many cyclists and personal mobility device users do not follow the rules on footpaths. Enforcement officers cannot be permanently stationed everywhere.

Bicycles and e-scooters are environmentally friendly modes of transport whose use should be encouraged.

But infrastructure, road education and civic-mindedness need to be in place first.

With more people using bicycles and personal mobility devices, more permanent solutions need to be in place to prevent accidents.

Teo Leng Lee (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2017, with the headline 'Install mirrors at blind spots in junctions, walkways'. Print Edition | Subscribe