Registering bikes and licensing cyclists could not make roads safer, observers say

SINGAPORE: Requiring cyclists to be licensed or bicycles to be registered could not have the specified impact of conserving roads protected in Singapore, observers say, noting that such measures could hamper the bike owner’s view of the nation. nation.

As a substitute, different efforts, similar to placing extra emphasis on training, may bear extra fruit by way of the security of cyclists and different street customers, transport consultants informed the CNA.

Chief State Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat stated on Monday April 12 that the foundations for street biking could be revised, amid a rise in its recognition.

Among the many measures to be thought of by the Advisory Group on Energetic Mobility is the potential for requiring cyclists to be licensed and bicycles to be registered.

Mr. Chee famous, nonetheless, that any adjustments to present laws ought to be achieved in a “balanced and truthful” method to keep away from discouraging biking.

READ: Panel to evaluate street biking guidelines, bike registration to check: Chee Hong Tat


Bicycles have been to be registered right here from colonial occasions till 1982, when the observe was discontinued.

However over time, there have been many calls to revive the licensing of two-wheelers and their drivers.

In 2013, former Nee Quickly RCMP MP Lee Bee Wah recommended that cyclists be required to take security programs earlier than being issued a license.

The suggestion resurfaced in 2016, when quite a few letters to the Straits Occasions discussion board referred to as for registration to discourage stray runners.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) responded to the letters saying it had studied “very fastidiously” licensing, however cited “sensible difficulties” in implementing such a system.

Implementing and managing a licensing system could be too resource-intensive, LTA stated on the time, including that cyclists feared they might be discouraged from using a bicycle as a result of it might be too costly to personal a bicycle.

Comparable causes have been given for the rejection of bicycle license necessities in different cities, similar to Los Angeles and Seattle in america.

But there are different nations which have such programs in place, similar to Japan, the place it largely exists as an anti-theft measure.

In Honolulu, cyclists should pay a one-time registration charge of US $ 15 (S $ 20) for all bikes with wheels not less than 20 inches in diameter. This determination brings in 400,000 US {dollars} (534,950 Singapore {dollars}) annually to the Hawaiian capital.

READ: FOCUS: Why cannot cyclists and motorists simply get alongside?

A lone bike owner crosses a round street in Singapore the place most shops are closed as a consequence of circuit breaker measures to include COVID-19. (Photograph: Marcus Mark Ramos)


There are a selection of attainable advantages related to registering bikes, stated Dr Cecilia Rojas, whose analysis focuses on lively mobility.

Along with higher enforcement of security guidelines, registration may assist cut back theft of bicycles in addition to deserted or illegally parked two-wheelers, the lecturer from the College of Social Sciences of Singapore (SUSS) famous. .

Any such system ought to have clear laws about who must be registered and be phased in with the intention to give individuals sufficient time to regulate, she stated, including that the licensing course of ought to be “easy and straightforward”.

However Dr Rojas added that it might be tough to introduce a licensing framework that could possibly be appropriate for various kinds of cyclists, additionally noting that there is likely to be difficulties in implementing registration for various kinds of bicycles.

READ: Singapore sees booming biking amid COVID-19, with elevated ridership and bicycle gross sales

“Bicycles are purchased, bought, exchanged very frequently. Additionally, within the case of street bikes, generally it occurs that solely the body or the deal with or the wheels are modified, which makes the bike lighter or quicker. Ought to these kinds of adjustments be notified (to authorities) or would a brand new license be required? ” she requested.

The inconvenience of the method may deter individuals from using bikes, she added, echoing Mr Chee’s issues.

Though registration is necessary for e-bikes and e-scooters, transport knowledgeable Tham Chen Munn puzzled to what extent this has improved street security.

Mr Tham, who’s director of enterprise growth for site visitors options firm PTV Asia-Pacific, questioned whether or not registering these gadgets – which requires them to show an identification quantity – has helped catch stray passengers.

Biking advocate Francis Chu famous that electrical scooters have been in the end banned on the paths regardless of the registration requirement.

“On the roads, automobiles transfer quicker and the space between them is additional in comparison with these on the sidewalk. If on the path it did not assist tackle stray riders, it will likely be harder to seize the license plate on the street, ”stated co-founder of biking group Love Biking SG.

Mr Chu recommended that there could possibly be a threat that drivers would observe stray cyclists with the intention to establish their license plates.

Chatting with the media on Monday, Protected Biking Job Power chairman Steven Lim – a member of the Energetic Mobility Advisory Group – stated the problem of stray cyclists was a “behavioral” challenge, noting that there have been additionally stray motorists regardless of the strict necessities to acquire a driver’s license.

READ: Electrical cyclists should move idea take a look at to trip on roads underneath proposed site visitors regulation adjustments


Mr Chu, who additionally beforehand served on the Energetic Mobility Advisory Committee, recommended that cyclists is likely to be required to take an internet take a look at on the best way to trip safely on the street, whereas drivers may also be inspired to take an identical take a look at on the best way to react to cyclists. on the street.

He stated the LTA ought to seek the advice of with skilled cyclists on “drawback areas,” including that infrastructure similar to protected cycle lanes and crossroads could possibly be launched in some areas if house permits.

Pace ​​limits in some areas is also decreased in some areas to make sure the security of cyclists and pedestrians, Tham stated.

He highlighted United Nations help for a 30 km / h pace restrict in “areas the place weak street customers and automobiles combine in frequent and deliberate methods” as a part of its Second Decade. of street security motion, which begins this yr.

This may be achieved in areas with “excessive density of individuals strolling and biking,” he added.

“We aren’t speaking about highways, we aren’t speaking about main arteries, go away them as they’re. There are prospects (to introduce a pace restrict of) 30 km / h in locations that may be protected for individuals to exit and play and be extra lively, ”he stated.

READ: Remark: Banning bikes on trails will not make dangerous biking habits go away

Dr Rojas from SUSS recommended that larger academic efforts, quite than a compulsory idea take a look at, would finest guarantee bike owner security.

“My four-year-old – and lots of others – rides a bicycle and though he can’t learn or write and due to this fact can’t move a idea take a look at, he’s conscious that he has to get off and push. in sure locations. , (keep) which facet of the path to cycle on, the place to attend for the inexperienced man and the opposite bicycle laws, ”she stated.

“This habits is achieved by way of training and encouragement.”

The onus for these academic efforts shouldn’t fall solely on cyclists, but in addition on all street customers to “acknowledge, respect and coexist” safely, she stated.

“For the reason that charge of biking, though rising, remains to be comparatively low in Singapore, incentive, info and training campaigns could possibly be one of the best method to enhance security and improve the speed of mobility. lively. “

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About Jeffrey Wurtsbach

Jeffrey Wurtsbach

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