More people have taken up cycling in Singapore as roads become better connected: to get to work, fetch children, collect meals or just simply for enjoyment.
And as our population grows - and crowds - into pavements and roads, safety is a big issue. Recently, actor Tay Ping Hui posted a video of a group of errant cyclists in a post that went viral, prompting calls to register all bicycles in Singapore. Others said that public education and promotion of road etiquette is key to resolving the problem. Senior Minister of State for Transport Mr Chee Hong Tat said that an expert panel will be reviewing existing regulations and study whether theory tests and licences should be required for cycling on roads.
We have become so used to cycling freely that we might not realise the licensing of bicycles in Singapore was done before. In the 1950s, when there were no computers, Singapore’s first bicycle licence came in the form of a bicycle identity card and licence plate. Cyclists had to carry the card to prove the bicycle belonged to them. When bicycles were sold or given away, the receipt was to be included. This carried on all the way to 1982, when bicycles were exempted from registration, and cyclists could be anonymous.
Whether bicycles need to have licence plates again or not, it is clear that motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, must act with accountability when sharing the roads, park connectors, and pedestrian pavements. Our actions affect our safety. Nobody wants to receive a phone call hearing that their loved ones were involved in an accident.
What would it take for people in Singapore to have a greater sense of responsibility while mobile?