Cycling: National cyclist Chelsie Tan shares road safety tips for participants of May 11-12 OCBC Cycle

National cyclist Chelsie Tan shares some tips on road safety for bike riders.
From right: Chelsie Tan, Elizabeth Liau and Samuel Leong demonstrating the "Stop" hand signal before stopping.
From right: Chelsie Tan, Elizabeth Liau and Samuel Leong demonstrating the "Stop" hand signal before stopping.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - She was cycling down a main road in November 2017 when suddenly, a car from a side road accelerated and hit her.

Fortunately, national cyclist Chelsie Tan, who had the right of way, reacted quickly and prevented a potentially serious accident.

"We came into contact, but I pushed myself off from the car body and, fortunately, I didn't fall," said the 29-year-old.

"After that incident, I learnt that it's important not to assume that drivers are aware of you and will react accordingly."

In February, new regulations for cyclists and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) came into force to create a safer environment for all road users.

One such regulation is the compulsory use of a helmet.

Tan explains that while many cyclists wear helmets, some do not wear it correctly.

"Some people wear it in a way that the helmet doesn't cover their forehead and the strap is too loose," she said. "Your helmet should always cover your forehead and the strap should be tightened around your chin."

Another new regulation is that it is now compulsory for cyclists and PMD users to obey all traffic signals and to travel in the same direction as the flow of traffic.

Those caught flouting any of the rules can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed for up to three months for the first offence.

"Cyclists are not the only users of the road and we have to share the road with many other vehicles so it's important for us to also obey the traffic laws and respect other road users," said Tan.

Some tips that she shared for cyclists ahead of the May 11-12 OCBC Cycle at the Sports Hub include:

• Always signal your intention when you want to change directions.

• Ensure that you have sufficient time to check if it's safe to turn.

• Always ride on the correct side of the road, as close to the kerb as possible.

Tan added that there are many things that cyclists in Singapore take for granted.

"People tend not to pay attention to road conditions here but, even in Singapore, there may be potholes and obstacles on the road. People also tend to assume that other road users know all the rules which might not be the case," she said.

She acknowledges that the roads are shared by many and that road safety is everyone's responsibility.

"Motorists need to be careful around cyclists, pedestrians should be careful of oncoming cyclists when crossing the road and cyclists need to take responsibility for their own safety," she added.

Click here for more safety tips on cycling.