SINGAPORE - Students can learn to cycle more safely on Singapore roads with a new hands-on programme launched by the Singapore Road Safety Council on Monday.
Called the Safe Cycling Clinic for Youth, secondary school students will learn how to manoeuvre their bikes in tight corners and what to look out for on the roads, at half-day clinics held at the Road Safety Community Park or their schools.
They will also be given safe cycling tips, such as donning brightly-coloured gear and using hand signals to indicate their intention to switch lanes.
"Safe cycling is a life skill that we want to teach people as early as possible in their lives," said Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, parliamentary secretary for health and transport at the launch of the programme.
For a start, students from 100 secondary schools will go for the clinics, which will be conducted by trainers from the Safe Cycling Task Force.
The course is designed to help students get a reality check on their cycling skills. It will also enforce the importance of looking out for other road users, said Mr Steven Lim, president of the Safe Cycling Task Force.
"If you can ride a bike, it does not mean that you are ready to go on the roads. The challenges are different, you have fast-moving traffic and pedestrians. We want to teach them what to look out for," he said.
The task force is also working with the Ministry of Education to conduct safe cycling assembly talks in schools. While the number of cycling fatalities has been on a downward trend since 2008, there were 14 cycling deaths on Singapore's roads in 2013, with one victim as young as 10 years old.
Beyond this, the Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety Committee, chaired by Professor Faishal, is looking into getting volunteers from cycling groups and government agencies to customise safe cycling lessons for different groups.
At the launch, Prof Faishal also commended 153 conscientious motorists for signalling early, giving way or assisting other road users.