Panel reviewing whether cyclists should ride only in single file
It is also looking at whether to cap group sizes of road cyclists, says Chee Hong Tat
A panel reviewing rules governing on-road cycling is studying whether cyclists should be required to ride in a single file at all times, or if there should be limits on group sizes for cyclists.
Cyclists currently have to ride in a single file only while on single-lane roads or in bus lanes during bus lane hours.
These are among the suggestions the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) is considering besides a proposal to license cyclists, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Chee Hong Tat in Parliament yesterday.
Responding to Ms Poh Li San (Sembawang GRC), Mr Chee said the authorities have received mixed views from the public so far about licensing.
"Some are in support of licensing, so that errant cyclists can be more easily identified and punished," he said.
"Others have expressed concerns that licensing on-road cyclists will increase compliance costs and affect the livelihoods of Singaporeans who are using their bicycles for work and commute."
Mr Chee said the government-appointed panel has not decided on whether to recommend such a measure yet. It is studying the practices overseas, where most cities do not have a registration scheme in place.
He cited Beijing, which used to register bicycles but abolished the scheme in 2004 as it was costly and ineffective.
While Tokyo has a bicycle registration scheme in place, the purpose is to deter bicycle theft and not enhance road safety, he said.
Noting many people have taken up cycling in Singapore since the Covid-19 pandemic started, Mr Chee said there will be many instances where motorists and cyclists have to share road spaces.
The majority of cyclists follow the rules, he said.
Mr Chee said the Government will also take action against motorists who drive recklessly and endanger the lives of others, including cyclists.
"We should bear in mind that cyclists are more vulnerable than those travelling in motor vehicles," he said, adding that AMAP will review ways to raise awareness among motorists on how to share the roads safely with cyclists.
Other than enforcement, the Transport Ministry is looking to improve safety by building more off-road cycling paths as well as raising public awareness on sharing road spaces, Mr Chee said.
Responding to Mr Gan Thiam Poh (Ang Mo Kio GRC), he said cyclists are allowed to ride two-abreast on roads with more than one lane.
The panel is looking at whether this is a good practice.
"It does help to enhance safety, because when they are riding in a group... the cars that are driving past treat this group as though they are one slow-moving vehicle," he said.
Dr Hing Siong Chen, president of the Singapore Cycling Federation, agreed that cyclists riding beside each other would make them more visible.