Many Roads Lead to Rome (rejoinder) by Han Jok Kwang, President HP Alumni
Following my piece on “Many roads lead to Rome”, a veteran member, first off the mark, had this to say: “But the cyclists are not free from blame at all. Some behave like they own the roads, especially during the morning rush hour. There is no excuse for asserting your rights by violating other’s rights”.
I want to thank this person. Sometimes I feel like an “emperor without clothes” especially when no one says anything! In Singapore, there are some obscure bicycle rulings which some drivers may not be familiar with.
Before I start, let me say that one can be equally reckless whether on bicycles, motorbikes or cars. There will always be that 1% of as#ho$%s.
I forgot to mention that the Earthquake talk by Prof Tapponnier, EOS NTU takes place on Saturday, 30Jun12 at 10:00am in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. First come, first served and talk is FREE. Open attached file.
(2) No bicycle shall be ridden on the right of any two other bicycles proceeding abreast in the same direction except when overtaking such other bicycles or on parts of roads or paths set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
DRIVERS SAY: When two cyclists ride side-by-side, they take up too much space on the road.
Under the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Rules, cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast. Cyclists say this can be safer as clumping together makes them more visible to drivers. It also makes for shorter lines than cycling in single file when in large groups; cars that want to turn left will not have to wait as long for the group to pass.
(3) A child below the age of 12 years may be carried on a properly constructed seator carrier affixed to a pedal bicycle.
JK>>Cyclists are allowed to carry a passenger provided carrier is properly affixed. Again, not many motorists are aware of this.
I have taken liberty to extract verbatim The New Highway Code Book 2, Advanced Theory of Driving, (Published in consultation with Traffic management, Land Transport Authority) fromhttp://safecycling.org/, a good source. Here goes:
Cyclist ride on all types of roads excepts expressways. Bicycles are used for both transportation and recreation by people of all ages and sizes; you should expect to find them almost anywhere. Because they rode close to traffic, cyclists are vulnerable to injury in a collision. As a driver, it is your special responsibility to pay attention to them and to provide for their safety.
JK>> We are going to have more cycling in SG as there is active promotion on the part of LTA especially for intra-town commute. There are already 5 towns and more on its way. So don’t swim against the tide, learn to go with the roll.
- When sharing the road with cyclists, expect sudden moves on their part at all times. A patch of oil, a pothole, an opening door of a parked car and other hazards can force a cyclist to swerve suddenly into your path.
- When approaching or passing a cyclist, give him/her ample space and be extra alert. Be prepared to slow down or stop. When a cyclist glances back, it is an indication that he/she may change direction anytime.
- Look out for cyclists riding against the flow of traffic especially at residential areas.
JK>> This is fast becoming reality on the ground. For driver’s training, I recommend vicinity of Geylang area after 5pm!
- Give even more room to cyclists when they are carrying a heavy weight or a pillion. This makesthem unsteady and wobbly and they may ride into your path or even hit the side of your vehicle.
- Just before turning:
i: Check your mirrors and blind spots.
- Watch out for cyclists between your vehicle and the kerb.
JK>> There are good reasons for cyclists to cycle a distance from the kerb. For example, drainage holes, debris and the risk of clipping one’s pedal against kerb and then tipping over on the traffic side.
iii. Don’t make a sudden sharp turn, you may knock down a cyclist.
- When overtaking, keep a safe gap between your vehicle and the cyclist. Don’t cut in sharply after overtaking the cyclist. This could result in your vehicle “side brushing” or hitting the cyclist.
- After parking, look out for cyclists coming up from behind before opening your vehicle door.
JK>> In Europe (cannot remember which country), you are expected to open the car door (after parking) using the hand ‘further’ away from door. It’s sensible because it forces you to turn sideways (so you can see), awkward so opening is less forceful!
Los Angeles Lives by Car, but Learns to Embrace Bikes By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Extracted from above:
The resentment goes both ways, as Hector Tobar of The Los Angeles Times said in a column last summer that was generally supportive of bicyclists. “People can be as reckless on a bike as they are behind the wheel of the car,” he wrote. “But stupidity with no steel around you to protect you is a more naked, brazen kind of stupidity — and that’s what drives a lot of Angelenos batty.”
Mr. Newton said:“People always like to point out, ‘Oh, I see bicycles running stopping signs.’ I think proportionately there’s an equal number of jerks who drive cars as there are who ride bicycles.
“Ninety percent of the interactions I have with bikes when I’m in a car and 99 percent of the interactions I have with cars when I’m on my bike are positive. But it’s the 1 percent you remember.”