This evening while my wife and I were walking to the hawker for dinner, we were almost run down by a bicyclist. We had stopped at the cross walk in front of Loyang Secondary School in Pasir Ris and waited for the pedestrian light to change to green. When it did, we glanced quickly right to insure that the cars were braking and then stepped out to start crossing the road.
Without a warning, an incredibly fast moving bicyclist on the roadway sped through the red light and narrowly avoided running into us. As he passed us, he made an angry grunting noise, as if we were the ones who were in the wrong for stepping into the crosswalk.
Do bicyclists in Singapore realize that if they’re using the roadways they’re subject to the same road rules that vehicles are? If there’s a red light, they have to stop. Plain and simple. They can’t speed through and expect everyone to make way for them.
I shouted angrily after the man, telling him just that. Of course, he didn’t stop. Instead, he continued his dangerous behavior and swerved quickly onto the pedestrian sidewalk at another intersection a little further down the road, haphazardly weaving past other pedestrians.
Singapore is a country with low crime, and as such there isn’t a very visible, active police force. Unfortunately, it seems as though bicyclists are taking full advantage of this fact to do whatever they want without fear of repercussions.
If the man had struck me and my wife it would’ve caused serious injury, like in the case where a bicyclist struck and killed a man, and I have no doubt he would’ve sped off just the same, leaving me to foot the hospital bills. If he didn’t care about the laws to begin with, why would he stop to accept the repercussions of his actions?
Singapore’s police need to take a more active role in enforcing safety regulations. Simply issuing these laws isn’t enough. This is an ongoing issue that isn’t improving. I wrote about this last month as well in a post called “Bicyclists vs Pedestrians, Battle For The Pavement“. There need to be police officers along the roads, preferably in plain clothes, monitoring behavior and issuing citations. Otherwise, who will ensure the safety of pedestrians?