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Rule for road cyclists to ride in single file at all times being studied: Chee Hong Tat

SINGAPORE — A government panel is studying whether cyclists should be required to ride in a single file at all times while on the roads, rather than two abreast, Mr Chee Hong Tat said on Tuesday (May 11).

Under the present Road Traffic Act, on-road cyclists must only ride in a single file while on single-lane roads in order to not obstruct motor vehicles.

Under the present Road Traffic Act, on-road cyclists must only ride in a single file while on single-lane roads in order to not obstruct motor vehicles.

SINGAPORE — A government panel is studying whether cyclists should be required to ride in a single file at all times while on the roads, rather than two abreast, Senior Mr Chee Hong Tat said on Tuesday (May 11).

The Senior Minister of State for Transport added that the Active Mobility Advisory Panel is also studying whether to impose limits on group sizes for on-road cycling as part of an ongoing safety review.

Mr Chee was responding in Parliament to questions filed by Ms Poh Li San, Member of Parliament (MP) for Sembawang Group Representation Constituency (GRC), and Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Gan Thiam Poh regarding safe cycling on public roads.

Clarifying the rules now under the Road Traffic Act, Mr Chee said that on-road cyclists must comply with all traffic rules such as riding in a single file while on single-lane roads, so as not to obstruct motor vehicles.

They must also follow traffic light signals, avoid the use of expressways and tunnels and ride “as near as practicable” to the far-left edge of the road. 

“This means they should keep to the left on the leftmost lane unless they are turning right or making a U-turn,” Mr Chee said.

Mr Gan then noted that cyclists do occupy the entirety of the leftmost lane and Mr Chee reiterated that the existing rules do not prohibit cyclists from riding on the leftmost lane and two cyclists can do so alongside each other, except on single-lane roads.

“There are some ongoing discussions with different groups of stakeholders on whether this is a good practice or not,” Mr Chee said. 

Some cyclists believe that the two-abreast rule allows drivers to be able to be more aware of the presence of the cyclists, which would add to safety.

“As long as group size is reasonable, cars that are driving past will treat this group as though they are one slow moving vehicle,” Mr Chee added.

The panel is reviewing the rule anyway and is looking at whether there are trade-offs involved, he said.

“They will consult widely with different groups of stakeholders before coming to the final recommendation.” 

Mr Chee also urged drivers to bear in mind that cyclists are more vulnerable on the roads and to be careful when driving past them.

The authorities have observed that while a majority of cyclists follow the rules, some use their mobile phones while riding, refuse to stop at red lights or ride in the middle lane of a major road, including expressways where bicycles are prohibited, he said.

They also react aggressively when they are called out for their actions, Mr Chee said of some errant cyclists. 

“We will enforce against such behaviours.”

Under the Road Traffic Act, errant cyclists found guilty for their first offence could be fined S$1,000 and jailed for six months, with higher penalties for repeat offenders. 

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cycling bicycle transport Chee Hong Tat cyclist

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