Fines for errant road cyclists to be doubled on 1 Jan, cycling group size to be capped

A delivery cyclist rides across a road junction in Singapore.
A delivery cyclist rides across a road junction in Singapore. (PHOTO: Roslan RahmanAFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Cyclists who flout traffic rules and endanger the safety of others will be fined $150 from 1 January next year, up from the current $75.

At the same time, the size of cycling groups on the roads will also be limited to five cyclists in a single file, or 10 cyclists when riding two abreast on roads where they are permitted to do so.

These new developments were announced by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) on Wednesday (20 October), after it accepted recommendations made by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel on measures to improve road safety.

The ministry said that the $150 composition fine will apply to cyclists who break existing rules while on the road, such as failing to stop at red lights, cycling on expressways and riding abreast another cyclist along single-lane roads.

For more serious cases, errant cyclists may be charged in court and face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail term of up to three months for the first offence, and a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a jail term of up to six months for subsequent offences.

Group size limit due to space constraints on road network

MOT said that the new rule limiting cycling group size is due to space constraints on Singapore's urban road network, with more people taking up cycling leading to increased interactions between them and other road users, and safety concerns when they ride on the roads.

Cyclists will continue to be allowed to ride a maximum of two abreast on roads with two or more lanes, for safety and visibility.

The advisory panel also recommended these guidelines as best practices:

  • cycling groups to keep a safe distance of approximately two lamp posts (or around 30 metres) between groups;

  • motorists to have a minimum distance of 1.5 metres when passing cyclists on roads.

MOT said it will not be introducing licensing of cyclists or registration of bicycles at this juncture, as there is little evidence from overseas case studies and past experience that such measures are effective in promoting road safety or deterring errant cyclists.

It agrees with the advisory panel's recommendation that all cyclists should be strongly encouraged to purchase third-party liability insurance to protect themselves from potential financial liabilities.

Union strongly discourages cycling on bus lanes during operational hours

In response to these new measures, the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) said in a media statement on Wednesday that it hopes that road cyclists would take additional precautions for their own safety, particularly during peak travel periods.

It said that, in 2020, there were 572 traffic accidents involving bicycles, an increase of about 25 per cent from 459 accidents in 2019.

The union thus strongly discourages cyclists from cycling on bus lanes during operational hours.

"With the average width of buses at 2.5 metres, and the minimum width of our roads at 3 metres, buses will need to encroach onto the next lane to overtake cyclists while providing the recommended 1.5-metre safety distance," it said.

"As it is common for buses to have to overtake the same peloton of cyclists multiple times, the repeated overtaking and encroachment into the adjacent lane will increase the risks of road traffic accidents happening, particularly during peak hours."

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