Friday, February 15, 2008
Keep Cyclists Out Of The Pedestrian Footpath - Part 1
Should cyclists be allowed to ride on the footpath? Up till now, whether you allowed or disallowed, they are already on the footpath daily. Even if you tell them about Rule 28 of Road Traffic Rules (RTR) disallow them to be on the footpath, they are either ignorant of it or disregard it.
Since the cyclists already disregard the Rule 28 of RTR or are ignorant of it, why do we still want to proceed on with the 1 yr pilot project to study the feasibility of sharing our footpath with cyclists? Personally I find this project - a waste of time and money. I will tell you why is it so in my Part 3.
Try asking any cyclists on the footpath what is Rule 28 of RTR or what other rules and laws are governing the cyclists in Singapore - the answer is probably most of the cyclists are not aware of it! Why? Everyone is cycling on the footpath, on pedestrian crossings, and in fact everywhere they like daily - that there doesn't seem to have any rules or laws governing cyclists.
This episode or this probably started it all - During the Committee of Supply debates in 2005, Senior Minister of State for Law & Home Affairs, A/P Ho Peng Kee, in response to a parliamentary question by Tampines MP Ms Irene Ng, said that the issue of whether or not cycling on footways should be allowed would be reviewed.
In this part 1, I will talk about the rules and laws governing the cyclists.
The laws governing cycling on the public roads are set out in the Road Traffic Act, Chapter 276 of Singapore (“RTA”) and the rules made pursuant to the RTA. Some of the rules relevant to cyclists are the Road Traffic Rules (“RTR”) and the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Rules of 25 November 1955 (the “RT(B)R”).
a) According to Rule 28 of the RTR, “No vehicle, except perambulators, shall be driven, parked or ridden on the footway of a road.”
b) The RTA defines a "vehicle" as “any vehicle whether mechanically propelled or otherwise;”. A "bicycle" is in turn defined as “a two-wheeled pedal cycle constructed or adapted for use as a means of conveyance;”.
c) Rule 10 of the RT(B)R requires a bicycle to be ridden in “an orderly manner and with due regard for the safety of others”. The RT(B)R does not prohibit cyclists from cycling on pavements.
The Traffic Police has confirm that it is illegal for cyclists to cycle on pavements, and any offender will be fined S$20.
You may read more in detail from SACA here.
Besides Rule 28 of RTR, what other laws are there applicable to cyclists? You may check them out again at SACA site from page 5 to 11.
If the reason for allowing cyclists on the footpath is because the number of accidents involving cyclists on the road is increasing, than it's not solving the root of the problem. We are looking at 300 to 400 plus a year, is it a large figure to change the law? If yes, than compared to the number of motorcycles or motorbikes on the same footpath daily - I guess the number is even much much more! Why didn't the authority do something immediately to remove the bikes from the same footpath?
Moreover, the number of accidents involving cyclists - is it due to the cyclists carelessness and recklessness? If yes, why still put them on the footpath? If it's due to the motorists fault, than we should penalise the driver more.
In part 2, we will look at some of the past years newspaper articles and letters regarding cyclists on footpaths.
Before I end, pls take a poll on whether "Should cyclists be allowed on the footpath" at the top right sidebar of this blog. Thank you.