Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bicycles Are Not Cars

Once upon a time, when Singaporeans were a wee bit less uptight, they used to laugh at themselves. The well worn joke about bad drivers (typically told by non-drivers) is that they tend to be old, female or Indian. But the worst driver of all is an old Indian woman. In current context the stand up comedian will be hauled up in court for being sexist, racist and downright disrespectful to our senior citizens. Don't expect the Law Minister to go to bat for you.

The reality today is that it's a jungle out there on our roads. When a motorist toggles the turn indicator, it means he has just executed a turn, not merely expressing an intent to make a turn. Forget about maintaining 6 car lengths behind the front vehicle when travelling at 60 kph - nature abhors a vacuum. Even when you are the model road user, always staying in lane, maintaining speed limits, there's no guarantee some red Ferrari won't collide with you for an insurance claim. Given such stressful driving conditions, does the motorist really have to put up with a 1.5 metre cycling lane on our already narrow, congested roadways?

Granted, more may have to downgrade from four wheels to two, given the relentless climb of the COE, but there is this potential health hazard of breathing the incomplete combustibles from the automotive exhausts. Cycling can be a pleasurable form of exercise, when the routes are at recreational parks or outlying nature reserves where the air is fresh and clean. Only idiots and retards will peddle downtown, at the peak of rush hour traffic, wallowing in the toxic fumes. And when they cycle three, or four, abreast, you know they are just out to be a nuisance to the real road users, the people who have to pay road tax, hurrying to work, or sending their kids to school. A bicycle is not a car, nor should it behave exactly like one because of one important difference: the danger to the operator. Even at slow speeds, cyclists can easily break bones or even die in a collision.

The author of "How to Not Get Hit by Cars" has a bit of practical advice for those insisting on competing with cars for roadspace, "Sure, cyclists have a right to the road. But that's a small consolation when you're dead."


  1. I agree verily. Car bangs car the occupants would likely survive, unless one meets a PRC ferrari driver or a huge ass concrete truck.

    Car bangs cyclist, or the other way round, the outcome is not going to be a good one for the cyclist or rider. Maybe cyclists should have motor insurance LOL.

  2. I am sympathetic to the lot of cyclist versus cars.
    But cyclists are no angels either.

    a)Many cyclists believe and behave as if they are pedestrians.
    They should dismount and walk with their bikes across the pedestrian crossing.
    Not cycle across the pedestrian crossing at 30 km/h without looking and expecting the cars to see them in time.

    b)Sidewalks were meant for pedestrians only.
    Cyclists were allowed on the sidewalks recently to afford them some safety from cars.

    But now cyclists are endangering pedestrians on sidewalks.
    Especially the elderly and the toddlers.

    They cycle at 30km/h on sidewalks, ringing their bells, and expecting pedestrians to give way to them.
    Behaving like road bullies.

    So many times I'm not sorry to read of a cyclist being involved in an accident.
    I should.
    But I'm not.

    1. I do agree that cyclists must learn how to use the road correctly. One thing that irritates me is the fact that they cycle on pedestrain path and expect people to give way. I just hate the ring.

  3. From my experience around my living area, really have no good feelings for those cyclists. Most of them are quite selfish lot. They just intrude into pedestrian pathway and sometimes they just speed, simply not considering they may knock down some old folks.

    For good intention, the government make the pathway for user-friendly to the old folks such as the overhead bridge, instead of climbing up by stairs, it was sloped gradually upwards so that people on wheelchairs also can use, but this is being abused by those cyclists.

    Sorry, really have no good feeling for cyclists!

  4. I suppose one of our PAP Ministers may come out to ask the million$ question in their usual self:

    "Are cyclists prepared to pay for road tax or bid for COEs, otherwise it may be considered a raid on our reserves if we have to allocate resources where there is no expected reasonable rate of return ? Some more we have already allocated over 1000 buses, so just imagine the congestion that they have to compete with bus lanes ?"

    What do you think ?

    1. With bicycle lanes and consequently more motorists ditching their motor vehicles for bicycles, the gahmen will have to raise GST to compensate for the lost registration fee, import duty, COE, road tax, diesel and petrol tax, ERP and parking charges and traffic summons or there will be no money to pay themselves.

      So, do you think there will be bicycle lanes?


    2. "Some more we have already allocated over 1000 buses, so just imagine the congestion that they have to compete with bus lanes ?"

      Polytechnic students for countless years have been begging for bus travel concessions. I believe if Temasick is not the major beneficiary of this govt largesse, there won't be 1000 new buses - even petitions by 100k poor bus commuters will end up like those cyclists'plea for bicycle lanes - where there is no reasonable rate of return.


    3. Why should poly students beg for concessions?

      Just because the guys are slightly younger than the guys in university?

      Do you know that JC and secondary school students pay the same rate?

      Why are secondary school students not begging for concessions?

      Why charge NSF servicemen bus fare at all?

  5. @Anon 8/22 11.10am, there are always good and bad eggs in each basket. You cannot have them all. What is critical is not the left at it is, which is do nothing. Regulate, Legislate, Educate is the best form. Road infrastructure must also catch up if we want to encourage alternative means of transportation, a sure fire way to reduce car population!

    1. and then? do we also need to remove all the drainage covers at the kerbside?

      and then? do we need make the bike lane as smooth and flat as F1 track?

      and then?

  6. Questions
    Do you need to pass the highway code to ride & own a bicycle?

    Do you need a licence to own a bicycle?

    Do you need to go for riding lessons to ride a bicycle?

    If no.
    Then why not?
    Some of these bikes can go as fast as 40 km/h
    Is that not dangerous to pedestrians and other road users?

  7. Well written! Road users killed and injured is an unfortunate and common fact as there would always be dangerous assholes on the road.

    Why the hell some cyclists want to paint themselves as special victims and privileged in the jungle out there. Pushing the argument on common sense and risks and asking for privileges compared to other road users, I don't see skate boarders or roller bladers on local roads - they know their place and the risks.

  8. A little boy out riding his bicycle knocked down an old lady.
    She was a bit shaken, but got up, dusted herself off, then turned to the little boy and said, "Don't you know how to ride a bike?"
    "Yes," he answered, "but I don't know how to ring the bell yet."

    1. and those that know how to ring the bell dont install bells on their bikes coz it looks uncool and "amateurish"

    2. An airhorn would work better.

  9. Am glad Tattler wrote this, as I was dumbfounded to hear it on radio that the Law Minister & his wife suddenly realised how "no government " our roads have become!

    I mean, am I to believe that no Parliamentarians of Singapore have gone on our roads for the past 5 years?

    Was there a secret tunnel to Parliament House from the various MPs and Ministers' homes and all of them worked from home and travelled in Humbee -like SUV with all no windows or windows tainted 99.5% ?

    Back to this issue: there is no solution. Period.

    Not until the Road lanes, especially the Left-most are wide enough for trucks & buses and special lanes for cyclists and special timing etc....

    With more FT doing the recreational cycling, this sure put the one responsible for the "growth"in a fix, no?

    By the way, I hold the believe that our Authority had long ago decided that cyclists are not legitimate Road users. They do not pay any COE, no Annual Road Tax or licence......

  10. Cyclists must respect all road users and pedestrians.

    Some simple rules of the road:

    Use your brakes
    Less bell ringing
    Cycle intently in one direction.
    Do not speed and cause shock to other users
    Acknowledge other road users when they give you leeway.

    For those cyclists that use high end racing types:

    S'pore roads are not the same as Melbourne, Perth or Denmark or even Oregon.
    You cannot ride into the horizon.
    Take a ferry across to Johore and ride until your arse splits and your bolas become prata

  11. Since when are cyclists allowed to cycle on pavements? Are they allowed to cycle right across pedestrian crossings incl zebra crossings?

    Btw those uncles on motorised bicycles are a real road hazard. Bad bad combination!!

    1. Cyclist are allowed on pavements in Tampines.
      A GRC run by the Pro Alien Party.

    2. Bike safety rules in Singapore.

      How many cyclists follow?

    3. And who is supposed to enforce these motherhood laws?

      Another instance of government on auto-pilot.

    4. Motorised bicycles are the greatest danger to kids and pedestrians who keep to their walkways - because they zip past you silently. And countless cyclists zoom down those new overhead bridges with no steps built for the handicap and old folks who cannot climb stairs. A sign on those overhead bridges warn of fines for riding bikes on overhead bridges, but like everything else on traffic and law, is selectively enforced (or not). Sure none of the MIW set foot there (or anywhere, as sham's twit hinted he was driving aorund in really BIG wheels) unless hustings is around. But bicycles have trampled pedestrians' walkways and all over. One death is one too many, but like everything in life, the silent majority suffers while the well-heeled minorities and hobbyists demand their "rights"! World is more upside down than ever.

  12. nintendo wii should come up with a bike game with a stationary bike as console... saves lives..

  13. At any point in time, each of us can be the motorist, motorbike rider, cyclist or pedestrian.
    From the 1960s to 2000 it was more or less live and let live but now it seems motorists are against cyclists, cyclists against pedestrians, the 3 parties against each other and those packed into trains like sardines are against foreigners.
    Is'nt this to do with congestion in general?

    And is'nt the congestion caused by the PAP buggers who allowed 2 million foreigners into our tiny island without proper planning ?

  14. It is all bcos Singaporeans just simply love Laws.
    They want Laws everywhere, whether enforcement is carried out or not, does not matter.
    Kiasu, kiasi and khay khiang.

  15. "It is all bcos Singaporeans just simply love Laws."

    Agreed. Especially laws made by kangaroos and for betterment of kangaroos. Australia will be happy to know that Kangaroos have the highest standard of living and extraordinary well-fed, well-paid in KangarooLand.

  16. The law today is quite clear. No cycling on pavements. Cyclists should go on the road. We just need to raise the penalties for drivers and cyclists who cause accidents - everybody will stay well clear of one another.

    I also suggest more cameras on the busy roads. Today, too many drivers and cyclists are breaking traffic rules without being caught.

  17. How about this....

    Yes, cyclists in Singapore suck ~ no question. You can hardly blame them though. I live 8km from my office as the crow flies, but there is no possible way I can get home quicker than 40 mins. In other words, for the mathematically challenged, I'm paying hard earned money to use public transport at 7.5km per hour. No wonder people take to the peddles !


  18. Feel free to ѕurf to mу web pagе - payday loans
    Also visit my homepage payday loan,


  19. Also visit my homeρage: payday loans
    Also visit my blog post : payday loan online