Enforcement blitz targets cyclists
CYCLISTS, beware: Going by a five-day enforcement blitz conducted last month, the authorities are taking errant riders to task.
This came after feedback from the public, including complaints that some cyclists were not obeying traffic-light signals.
The joint operations by the Traffic Police and Land Transport Authority (LTA) saw six cyclists being issued summonses for traffic violations like failing to cycle in an orderly manner.
The authorities also dispensed road-safety advice to 158 cyclists during the operation, which was conducted at various locations around Singapore between Oct 21 and 25.
These riders were advised on proper road behaviour and the importance of obeying traffic rules at all times, a police spokesman told My Paper.
The spokesman added that the operations were undertaken following public feedback on the behaviour of cyclists.
Three Traffic Police and two LTA officers were deployed for each operation, which lasted about nine hours a day.
In the first half of the year, the Traffic Police issued more than 660 summonses to cyclists, said Superintendent Ho Yenn Dar, assistant director of public communications of the Singapore Police Force, in a letter published in The Straits Times in September.
A total of 1,290 cyclists were booked last year, while 1,238 summonses were issued in 2011, according to a report in The Straits Times.
Asked whether cyclists in Singapore were generally aware of the dos and don'ts of road safety, Mr Steven Lim, president of the Safe Cycling Task Force, said: "Compared to other road users, cyclists are not a homogenous group - there are elderly people, commuters, children, and sports cyclists. Each group has a different set of needs."
The recent enforcement blitz was a good opportunity to teach cyclists appropriate behaviour when they are cycling, said Mr Lim.
Retiree Mary Koh, 67, who lives in Siglap, hopes that enforcement operations will be conducted in her estate.
Ms Koh's bugbear is that some cyclists ride on the pavement along Upper East Coast Road and encroach into the waiting spaces at bus stops.
"Some go quite fast and it's dangerous for children who are alighting from buses," she said in Mandarin.
Communications executive Brandon Tan, 33, who drives daily, said he occasionally sees cyclists not wearing helmets and cutting lanes recklessly in the Central Business District. So, he welcomes the latest enforcement drive.
"In Singapore's case where we do not have designated cycling lanes on the roads due to a lack of space, some rules have to be enforced if bicycles are to share roads with cars," he added.
Avid cyclist George Lim, 47, said that unlike drivers or motorcyclists, cyclists do not have to go through a formal course before they take to the roads.
Some cyclists hailing from other countries also tend to bring their riding habits from back home, said Mr Lim, a civil servant.
While these are not excuses for breaking the rules, more education efforts - such as through cycling courses at foreign workers' dormitories or media advertisements - would go a long way, he noted.