SINGAPORE: Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, intends to meet various stakeholders to discuss how roads can be made safer.
In his Facebook posting on Tuesday, Dr Faishal said he was saddened by the death of Mr Freddy Khoo.
Mr Khoo was cycling along Loyang Avenue with two friends over the weekend when a lorry crashed into them. He was severely injured and died in hospital.
Dr Faishal will also discuss with fellow MPs who are passionate about cycling.
One of them is Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Teo Ser Luck, who said more can be done to ensure safety of cyclists on the road. Mr Teo added it's time to take a fresh look on past measures that were proposed but rejected.
Francis Chu is the co-founder of a local cycling group LoveCyclingSg.
Mr Chu rediscovered cycling as a form of commuting eight years ago. The 52-year-old sold his car and his bicycle has been his main mode of transport since then.
He's part of the cycling community who's been urging the government to consider having a dedicated cycling lane on some roads.
They suggest that these dedicated cycling lanes could be located along the more popular cycling routes such as Neo Tiew Road.
Such lanes need only be about 1.5m wide.
Mr Chu said: "There isn't any physical construction we need to make, we just need to re-paint the lanes. In a way, all the lanes need to be re-painted from time to time because they wear off. If it's a cost issue, why not we just implement it when the lanes need to be re-painted, then we re-paint on a new position."
Motorists have mixed views about dedicated cycling lanes.
One said: "It depends on which road and how big the road is. So as long as they don't get too close to the motorists then it's still okay."
Another said: "Not viable. There're already traffic jams and then you have to cater one more lane for cycling. I think in congested area it's not feasible."
Cycling groups have also identified roads which could pose a hazard for cyclists.
They include Lentor Avenue and Upper Jurong Road which have heavy traffic.
Balestier Road is one of the danger spots highlighted by cycling groups because of the busy traffic where a left lane is sometimes occupied by vehicles parked illegally.
Motorists and cycling enthusiasts agree that all road users should be mindful of safety and be considerate.
"A pledge to do more for cyclist safety," by Sumita Sreedharan. Today Online, 22 Aug 2012.
SINGAPORE - Despite a steady decline in recent years in the number of accidents involving cyclists, policymakers have pledged to do more to improve the safety of cyclists on the roads following the death of bank employee Freddy Khoo, 48, over the weekend.
Mr Khoo was cycling along Loyang Avenue with two friends last Saturday when a lorry collided with them. He died from his injuries in hospital.
On his Facebook page, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Transport Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said he would be consulting various stakeholders "in the coming months".
"There have also been other fatal accidents in the past, and a death is always one too many. I believe our roads can be made safer," he added.
Responding to TODAY's queries, the Traffic Police said that there were 182 accidents involving cyclists in the first six months of this year.
During that period, 190 cyclists and pillion riders died or were injured in accidents. Between 2009 and last year, the numbers on both counts have fallen steadily, according to statistics provided by the Traffic Police.
Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal said he will build on the various cycling initiatives, especially those put in place by former Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Transport) Teo Ser Luck. Said Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal: "Where we can make improvements or if there are feasible ideas which can be tried out, we should certainly be prepared to have an open mind."
Writing on his Facebook page, Mr Teo, who is now Minister of State for Trade and Industry, urged a "fresh look on the past measures that were proposed but rejected".
In the wake of Mr Khoo's death, two impassioned open letters were addressed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew to improve the safety of cyclists on the roads. Tampines GRC MP Irene Ng also called for "urgent action to crack down on dangerous driving while improving the training of motorists to look out for cyclists".
Safe Cycling Taskforce President Steven Lim told TODAY that the problem lies with the mindset of road users here. "A lot of seasoned riders have ridden in Malaysia and will tell you it's safer to ride in Malaysia," he said, "You can't say it's the infrastructure in Malaysia that makes the difference as its comparable to what we have here."
Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, A/Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim wrote on his Facebook page on 21 Aug 2012:
"When I was told that I will be appointed Parl Sec in MOT, Minister Lui had asked me to help him to take charge of a few areas under land transport. For a start, these would include local connectivity issues such as covered linkways to public transport nodes, requests for lifts at Pedestrian Overhead Bridges, road safety issues, and cycling issues. I am already being briefed on some of these issues.
Specifically on cycling, and on the related issue of road safety, I am saddened by Mr Freddy Khoo’s death. There have also been other fatal accidents in the past, and a death is always one too many. I believe our roads can be made safer, and this calls for both motorists and cyclists to observe traffic rules and drive/cycle in a safe and considerate manner. I intend to meet the various stakeholders, including interest groups from cyclists, motorists and even pedestrians - who have also expressed some concerns about their safety with more cyclist-pedestrian interactions. I will also discuss and seek inputs from my fellow MPs who are passionate about cycling.
I will be making these consultations in the coming months. I will also build on the various cycling initiatives which have been done in the past, especially under Mr Teo Ser Luck’s leadership when he was Senior Parl Sec in MOT, who had done much to promote cycling as a mode of transport. Certainly, where we can make improvements or if there are feasible ideas which can be tried out, we should certainly be prepared to have an open mind and either implement or start with some pilots."
"Goverment seeking views on cycling safety on roads," by Jessica Lim. The Straits Times, 22 Aug 2012.
Cyclists, drivers and pedestrians are to be asked for their views on road safety in a public consultation announced on Tuesday.
The move comes after a 48-year-old bank worker died on Saturday when a lorry hit his bicycle, in a case that prompted calls for better anti-accident measures.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim told The Straits Times that the consultation could lead to pilot projects, but stopped short of calling it a policy review.
He added that Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew had told him to take a fresh look at the issues of road safety and cycling, which were both priorities.
"We want to ensure that all views are considered," he said.
"We want to have an open mind and see how we can implement some of the findings."
There are likely to be several consultation sessions, each of which may last over an hour and be attended by representatives from the Land Transport Authority (LTA). No dates have been set.
Mr Teo Ser Luck, an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and an avid cyclist, alluded to the consultation on Tuesday in a Facebook post asking for measures rejected in the past to be relooked. "It takes all stakeholders to work together to make a difference," he wrote.