Spreading the word on safe cycling

SINGAPORE - National cyclist Low Ji Wen was on his bike near Changi Coast Road last year when another cyclist was mown down and killed by a truck.

"Just 15 minutes more and it would have been me," said the 24-year-old.

The tragedy is just one reason he has joined this year's OCBC Cycle Singapore Safe Cycling Campaign, which aims to share the message with primary school children and road users.

"The best thing cyclists can do to protect themselves is to cycle safely," said the SEA Games competitor, who recalls three cyclists being killed in accidents within three days last year.

On Wednesday, together with fellow national cyclist Travis Woodford, 22, Mr Low advised 830 Yu Neng Primary pupils on how to put on a helmet properly, wear bright clothes and keep a safe distance from stationary cars.

Ryan Muhammed Syafiq, 12, who cycles to school, said: "I learnt that I should dismount from my bike at a pedestrian crossing. It might be troublesome but it is much safer."

The workshop kicked off the year- long campaign, which for the first time features 12 Safe Cycling Days instead of one - starting with this Saturday, then the last Sunday of each month. OCBC said it "wanted to extend the campaign to deliver the safe cycling message throughout the year".

This Saturday, 2,000 "Let's share the road" jerseys will be distributed at Long House on Upper Thomson Road from 5.30am. Cyclists will be encouraged to make a donation towards safe cycling initiatives organised by the Singapore Road Safety Council.

On each Safe Cycling Day, riders will be encouraged to take pictures of themselves in their jerseys and post them on Instagram. Those with the best photos stand to win prizes.

Organisers also hope to extend safe cycling clinics to other schools.

OCBC Cycle Singapore, Singapore's biggest cycling event, takes place from March 28 to 30 and is expected to attract 12,000 cyclists.

For the third year running, there will be a charity ride, The Business Times Charity Challenge.

The March 30 event will raise funds for two charities - Dover Park Hospice and SingHealth Transplant TRUEfund.

More details can be found at www.ocbc.cyclesingapore.com.sg


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