More cyclists killed or hurt on roads

More cyclists killed or hurt on roads
The scene of an accident involving a bicycle and a lorry that occurred along Woodlands Avenue 10 towards Admiralty Road West at about 7am on 24 May 2014. The cyclist, a 35-year-old shipyard worker, had collided with the lorry carrying bread company Gardenia’s logo. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by paramedics.
PHOTO: Shin Min

The number of cyclists hurt or killed in traffic accidents has been rising over the past three years.

Experts attribute it to a rise in the number of cyclists and a lack of infrastructure and education.

Last year, 17 cyclists or their pillion riders were killed in accidents, up from 15 each in 2014 and 2013, according to the latest statistics from the Traffic Police.

The number of those injured also rose, by 17 per cent from 503 in 2014 to 590 last year. In 2013, 436 were hurt.

The growing number of electric bikes is also a concern.

In Parliament on Monday, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a written reply that the number of accidents involving power-assisted bikes increased from six in 2013 to 27 last year. Five of those accidents last year were fatal.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it will be increasing penalties for those who misuse these bikes.

A panel headed by the LTA is also expected to announce new rules and guidelines soon, that will govern the use of such devices here.

Love Cycling SG co-founder Francis Chu said: "With more people using bikes for commuting or leisure, immediately, you can foresee capacity issues for the park connectors and the pavements.

"With more users in the same space, it is hard to avoid conflict."

A lack of education on safe cycling has also contributed to the rise in accidents involving cyclists.

"We are still seeing cyclists running (traffic) lights," said Steven Lim, president of the Safe Cycling Task Force.

"Groups and clubs have a social responsibility to educate their members against behaviour like this."

dansonc@sph.com.sg

Related: At least 3 cyclists caught breaking rules each day


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