Cyclists on public roads must be prepared to be licensed

The public debate on the licensing of bicycles has taken a new twist, with the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) official statement that it is "not practical" to do so ("LTA: Bicycle licensing not practical"; Feb 12).

While the LTA may have its justifications for dismissing the idea, perhaps it should try and understand the real issue at hand: safety.

The number of recreational cyclists taking to public roads is on the rise. This has caused safety concerns expressed by other road users who are regulated under the Road Traffic Act, mainly through licensing and other legislative measures.

All vehicles allowed on public roads have to comply with laws on roadworthiness and mandatory insurance coverage.

So why are cyclists who use public roads being exempted from all these measures? Can the same privilege be extended to other sports to use public roads then?

As it is, recreational cyclists in Singapore are already the luckiest people, with kilometres of cycling tracks built for them.

There is no compelling and justifiable reason for these cyclists to go beyond the cycling tracks.

However, cyclists who intend to use public roads must be prepared to be licensed and comply with safety and insurance requirements, just like any other road user.

For cyclists who have a craving for speed, perhaps a velodrome is the answer. I hope what started as a privilege will not become a right.

Jessica Ng Mui Lan (Ms)