On 1 October 2021, a government panel, Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP), has produced a set of recommendations to review regulations to enhance road safety.
The recommendations consist of the following rules and guidelines:
- To continue allowing cyclists to ride abreast in a maximum of 2 on roads with two or more lanes.
- Introduce a rule for on-road cycling groups, for them to limit their group length to 5 bicycles. Essentially, this means a limit of five cyclists in a single file or ten cyclists when riding abreast.
- Introduce a guideline to ensure a safe distance of 2 lamp posts (30 metres) between riding groups.
- Introduce a guideline in the Highway Code and driving test handbooks that require motorists to have a minimum passing distance of 1.5 metres when passing cyclists.
- Highly encourage cyclists to sign up for third-party liability insurance. When involved in an accident, third-party insurance will compensate for victims and protect cyclists from potentially expensive claims.
My Two Cents
After reading the recommended rules and guidelines, certain thoughts came to my mind:
For recommendations 1 – 3, is there a point behind it? After all, what is the point if cyclists don’t adhere to these recommendations? Unless they are caught in the act of flouting these rules and guidelines, matters will remain the status quo. Besides, recommendations 1 – 3 will only be effective when proper enforcement is present. And this, unfortunately, is a hard nut to crack.
Recommendation 4 will be only and most effective when implemented – but why? Well, it is pretty simple. It is easier to take enforcement actions against motorists than cyclists, as motorists must be licensed and officially registered with government bodies. Hence, it makes motorists more accountable for any actions committed by them.
Lastly, recommendation 5 is the most perplexing recommendation of them all.
“A 2017 Life Insurance Association survey1 found that 41.4 percent of Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) aged 20 to 34 have no insurance coverage. “
Considering a significant number of citizens have no insurance coverage, the tendency to take up third-party liability insurance for cycling is going to be pretty damn low too.
Nothing spells ineffectiveness more than this proposed set of recommendations, which practically solves none of the issues at hand. Instead, the proposed recommendation aims to tackle every other matter, except that one crucial matter – Holding cyclists accountable for their actions.
This basically summarises all the issues at hand.
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