Safety tips for cyclists taking part in OCBC Cycle

National cyclist Chelsie Tan shares some tips on road safety for bike riders.
Chelsie Tan stresses that one should cycle as close to the kerb as possible, in case drivers make a left turn without signalling. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Chelsie Tan stresses that one should cycle as close to the kerb as possible, in case drivers make a left turn without signalling. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

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.

  • CHELSIE TAN'S POINTERS

  • • Always wear a helmet.

    • Always have lights on, even in daylight. It helps drivers to see you.

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

    • Always signal your intention to change direction or turn into another street.

    • Don't assume that another driver is going to do what you think he will do. Expect the unexpected.

    • Always obey all traffic laws.

    • In a mass cycling event like OCBC Cycle, do not overtake recklessly and avoid stopping abruptly.

"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.

• More safety tips on cycling: srsc.org.sg/advisories/cyclists-bicycle-road-safety-accidents

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2019, with the headline 'Safety tips for cyclists taking part in OCBC Cycle'. Print Edition | Subscribe

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