Forum: How a rider for over 50 years sees cycling laws

I am a 76-year-old cyclist and have been cycling since my secondary school days. Back in the 1960s, the roads were narrow and crowded, but somehow cyclists like me survived riding to school and all over Singapore. There were no pavements or cycling paths then.

I cycled across the entire island on highways and forest tracks, and have cycled into Malaysia, going as far as Desaru, Sungai Rengit and Seremban.

I do not believe that any registration of bicycles or compulsory attendance of classes on the theory and practice of safe bicycle riding would prevent accidents (Expert panel to study licensing of cyclists on roads, April 13). All that would do is make life more cumbersome, expensive and vexing for the many housewives, retirees, schoolchildren, delivery boys and the ordinary man in the street who use a bicycle as a convenient mode of transport.

The Land Transport Authority in its study in 2016 had concluded that it is impractical to implement any bicycle licensing scheme. If so, why waste funds by commissioning yet another study?

As a long-time cyclist, I dread the day when more regulations are enacted. Instead of making us more street-smart, they will make us more street-weary.

I do not want to cycle along pavements or shared paths for I know too well that there are too many wheelchair users, food-delivery cyclists and personal mobility device users sharing these congested paths during peak hours.

It is far safer for me to stick to the roads and bus lanes, dangerous as they may seem. Street-smart old fogeys know how to avoid pitfalls and respond quickly when danger approaches.

Ultimately, when it comes to safe driving or safe cycling, it boils down to how we value human life. We must foster a spirit of give-and-take.

Patrick Low