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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cyclists vs Pedestrians. Who has the right of way?

I am not a cyclist but I have personal opinions about those who cycle not as a sport but as a mean of transport.

As a pedestrian, I feel that cyclists should always wear protective gear (helmet!) and those who choose to use pedestrian paths should not ride recklessly and endanger others' lives. I do appreciate the considerate ones who ring their bells once (or maybe just twice at most) to let you know they are coming through from the back but not those who ring incessantly to announce that "I am king so scram!".

There were quite a few occasions when these reckless ones almost caused collisions on myself while I was walking with my children but no such remorse there - they were likely to think we were in their way! There was also once when we were boarding a bus at a narrow walkway that the cyclist kept ringing the bell expecting us to give way to him but I decided not to budge because I think I would have missed the bus.

Unfortunately, as I've observed, many of these cyclists are foreigners. I don't condone their choice to ride on the pavement, even though it is not allowed. It is definitely safer than on the roads. But they ought to be able to exercise some common sense about zipping through a crowded pavement and when "crossing" at traffic junctions.

As a driver making a turn at traffic junction, I've also encountered these speeding cyclists appearing out of nowhere thus almost causing near accidents. Not that they are even aware of what might have happened, their only thought was to get past the road before the red man comes on! (And there I would be hyperventilating behind the wheels.) In these situations if a cyclist gets hurt, the driver would be charged for reckless driving. That's really unfortunate because these cyclists can also be at fault but since we have the bigger vehicle, we are deemed the bully.

Regardless of what role we undertake when we are out, we have a responsibility to ourselves and others. We can play a part to keep each other safe. If we practice a little bit more courtesy on the road, how much more pleasant will our journey be? Let's educate our young on this.

*image extracted from http://cyclinginsingapore.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html

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