Ground-up road safety efforts vital as more take up cycling: Minister
With more people taking up cycling amid the pandemic, being on the ground to engage cyclists and other road and path users on safety has grown more important, said Minister of State for Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim yesterday.
"Road safety efforts need to be ground-up and have to be continuous. When it is ground-up, you work with the community, they own the safety space and they can co-create it."
He was speaking to reporters at East Coast Park during one such effort. With him were Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) chairman Bernard Tay, and representatives from the Traffic Police and Land Transport Authority. They spoke to cyclists and gave out fliers with tips on cycling responsibly.
This is part of a series of engagements launched by Dr Faishal in his Nee Soon constituency last month, with various agencies and interest groups collaborating to spread the safety message.
He said: "It is important for us to continue going to the ground to share repeatedly the importance of (being) gracious and, wherever possible, giving way to others... If we do it across Singapore, I am quite confident it will have some positive impact on our road safety landscape."
Dr Faishal, who is also chairman of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel, added: "The agencies are coming together in a concerted effort to not only come up with policies and regulations, but also really go deeper."
"Road safety is a marathon. This is one of the reasons we try to (inculcate) habits at the school level. Start young," Mr Tay said, adding that hopefully, the young ones can also do the same with their parents or grandparents.
While SRSC's efforts to engage the public have been hampered by Covid-19, it is now tapping social media.
Mr Sean Teoh, 29, who is self-employed, said it makes sense to have regulations such as wearing a helmet on the road and turning on front and rear bicycle lights after dark, which are in the safe cycling flier.
"But common sense is not common sometimes," he said.
"It comes down to whether people are considerate to one another, but I think mindsets take time to change. If we want a solution that makes everybody happy, we need to allocate some space to slower transport modes. Cyclists don't belong on pedestrian paths, and they don't belong on roads either."