Ride safe - course for cyclists and PMD users by July

Participants had a hands-on preview of the Safe Riding Programme yesterday at a Car-Free Sunday event in the Civic District. The course, which will be free for the first year, will be rolled out at selected community centres, schools and migrant work
Participants had a hands-on preview of the Safe Riding Programme yesterday at a Car-Free Sunday event in the Civic District. The course, which will be free for the first year, will be rolled out at selected community centres, schools and migrant worker dormitories.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

A 90-minute course to inculcate safe riding habits among cyclists and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) will be launched by July.

The Safe Riding Programme will put participants through a training circuit and familiarise them with the rules and codes of conduct under the Active Mobility Act, which will come into effect later this year.

A course preview for about 15 cyclists and PMD users was conducted yesterday by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) during a Car-Free Sunday event in the Civic District.

After a pool of instructors have been built up, the programme will be rolled out at selected community centres, schools and migrant worker dormitories, said the LTA.

It added that it will call a tender in the coming weeks to appoint training providers.

LTA's deputy director for active mobility, Ms Tan Li Yen, said: "We want to encourage more people to cycle and take up active mobility... but we also want them to do so in a safe manner."

Participants can take the programme for free in the first year.

Pilot sessions of the Safe Riding Programme were held between May and the end of last year but the target group was mainly cyclists.

Building on feedback, the LTA said the curriculum has been expanded to include PMD users and those riding electric bicycles.

The syllabus, which was initially developed by LTA and the Singapore Road Safety Council, was refined in consultation with cycling and PMD interest groups, such as Big Wheel Scooters Singapore.

After pilot sessions, the course was also crunched down from three hours to just 90 minutes.

Said Ms Tan: "One of the improvements we did was to combine the theory (lessons) into the circuit. So a lot of the things that we teach them, we demonstrate through the circuit, we get them to try it out, and we give them feedback."

The circuit enables cyclists and PMD users to learn safe riding habits through various scenarios, such as giving way to pedestrians at bus stops and slowing down at blind-spot areas.

For realism, participants take turns to role-play as pedestrians.

E-scooter user Siti Suhaila Ihkwan Sohsaid she learnt the importance of dismounting at bus stops at the course preview yesterday.

"(The course) was quite useful and creates awareness," added the sales executive, 35, who attended it with her daughter Shaeyna, nine.

Yesterday's Car-Free Sunday was the 10th instalment and featured a personal mobility roadshow, where members of the public could try out different PMDs.

Volvo Trucks Singapore also brought in a prime mover to demonstrate the blind spots around the vehicle which cyclists and pedestrians should avoid.

Adrian Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2017, with the headline 'Ride safe - course for cyclists and PMD users by July'. Print Edition | Subscribe