Cyclists caught flouting traffic rules will have to pay a $150 fine from 1 Jan 2022, up from $75 now.
This fine will apply to those who break existing rules while on the road, including not stopping at red lights, riding abreast of another cyclist on single-lane roads, and cycling on expressways.
A new rule that caps the size of cycling groups at five cyclists in a single file or 10 cyclists when riding abreast will also kick in from 1 Jan next year.
This announcement came after the Ministry of Transport (MOT) has accepted the Active Mobility Advisory Panel’s (AMAP) recommendations on measures to improve road safety for road cyclists, which was submitted on 1 Oct.
The recommendations were put forth to MOT after the panel did a series of reviews which involved studying practices overseas, conducting public consultations and focus groups, as well as a survey.
These recommendations include:
- capping cycling groups to a maximum length of five bicycles as this will ensure the space that cyclists occupy on the roads is similar to that of a bus
- continue allowing cyclists to ride two abreast on roads with two or more lanes, for safety and visibility.
- to not require cyclists to get licensed or to have bicycles registered at this juncture, in spite of calls by some motorists for these stricter rules.
- introducing guidelines to get cycling groups to keep a distance of about 30m from one another on roads.
- implementing a guideline for motorists to keep a minimum distance of 1.5m when passing cyclists on roads.
- encouraging cyclists to get third-party liability insurance.
Specifically, in response to the suggestion which proposed that the Government to not require cyclists to get licensed or have bicycles registered, the MOT has agreed with the suggestion as currently there is little evidence from overseas case studies and Singapore’s past experience that licensing of cyclists is effective in promoting road safety or deterring errant cyclists.
In its effort in stepping up against errant cyclists, MOT said fines for such individuals will be raised from the current $75 to $150 from 1 Jan 2022.
For more serious cases, a cyclist may be charged in court and fined up to $1,000 as well as jailed for up to three months for the first offence.
Repeat offenders can be fined up to $2,000 and/or jailed for up to six months.
Transport workers’ union called for more enforcement against those using bus lanes
The transport workers’ union has called for more enforcement against errant cyclists using bus lanes.
Currently, under the Road Traffic Act, cyclists are allowed to cycle in bus lanes but must ride in a single file during bus lane operational hours.
However, according to bus captains who have given their feedbacks, cyclists are often seen riding two, and sometimes even three, abreast during bus lane operational hours, said the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) in a statement.
In a Facebook post, Melvin Yong, the Executive Secretary of the National Transport Workers’ Union, said that there were 572 traffic accidents involving bicycles in 2020, an increase of about 25% from 459 accidents in 2019.
As such, while the NTWU fully supports the recommendations by the AMAP, the NTWU also hopes that individuals cycling on the road would take additional precautions for their own safety, particularly during peak travel periods, adding that it “strongly discourages” cyclists from using bus lanes during operational hours, pointing to a higher risk of accidents.
So dear cyclists, let’s all cooperate and abide by the rules and make our roads a safer place for everyone!