Sorry guys, the sharing was all screwed up on the last post, so here it is again, shareable. Thanks to everyone who’s supported the post thus far, hopefully this final push will get it to the right people!
I’ve been holding off on another rant since my ride on Saturday but, this post got me and got me good….. So I’m back.
I’m going to aim this one squarely at the Singapore Police Force & Land Transport Authority (LTA)… You should be absolutely ashamed at the state of driving on your roads, it’s beyond an embarrassment. The drivers on your roads (of all races and cultures before anyone tries to accuse me of racism) lack basic skills that toddlers possess; things like empathy and sharing. They lack things that should be inherent as human beings like compassion and care. They also lack some other things that are important when driving like the ability to indicate, the ability to merge, the ability to plan ahead and, well, the ability to drive, really.
The reason this post is aimed at you and not them is; Who’s stopping them? Who’s educating them? Who’s licensing them properly? Who’s deterring them? Who’s policing them? Not you.
Whose responsibility is it? Yours.
Do I blame the truck driver that missed my right shoulder by centimeters 3 weeks ago when riding with Lisa Walton & Lizi Hamer? Yes, to an extent… But how many truck drivers have killed cyclists on your roads? How many have gotten off? Where’s the deterrent? What have they got to lose?
Do I blame the taxi drivers that fly right up behind me when there are 3 lanes to my right to pass me, then slam on their brakes, flash their lights and beep their horn before passing me in a huff? Yes, to an extent… But who’s keeping these cowboys in check? They’re on the roads all day and know what they can get away with, and they do. What have they got to lose?
Do I blame the Ah Beng in the matt-yellow Maserati that terrorized our group on the weekend, flipped us the bird as he passed then only barely missed a head-on with another car 50 meters down the road? Yes, to an extent… But what’s he got to worry about? He’s above the law, right? He can afford a $300k (http://www.sgcarmart.com/new_cars/newcars_overview.php) car, so can do what he wants, right? What has he got to lose?
I could continue telling you about my personal experiences with ‘drivers’ on your roads, mostly on rides with Jonathan Kang or Christopher Chen, but I’m sure you get the point. You have a serious problem on your hands. People are dying (147 cyclists have died on Singapore roads since 2008, based on the data I have) and your motorists seem to be getting angrier, more confident in their aggression and way less scared of you than they should be.
Here are a couple of reasons why I think they’re less scared…
Four weeks jail for killing a cyclist: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/…/lorry-driver-…/2648970.html
Four weeks jail for HIT & RUN WHILST DRUNK and killing a cyclist: http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/…/mercedes-benz-driver-jai…/
Not good enough…. Especially when you get 9 months for graffiti: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Singapore-sentences-young-Germ…
This says you value your trains more than human life. Plain and simple & it needs to change.
Actually… Seeing as these guys got 2 weeks jail and a huge fine for simply organising a cycling race, maybe you’re just against cyclists? http://www.allsingaporestuff.com/article/bike-shop-owner-emcee-be-jailed-2-weeks-fined-7k-each-illegal-bike-race
Rant almost over, stay with me, this is the constructive part…. Once I remove this one argument.
Now, I’m definitely NOT saying that only legislation, enforcement of said legislation or motorists’ are to blame…. There are some terrible cyclists out there who flaunt the rules and put their lives and the lives of people around them at risk… I 100% agree with anyone reading this who raises that point and rages at those cyclists. But how many motorists have been killed by them? Zero. So let’s focus on the immediate and deadly threat, first.
So…. What do we do about it? How do we design, deliver and more importantly enforce a set of rules that will save lives? I don’t know. I just know it needs to happen and will offer my time and any resources I have to be part of the solution. So, if anyone reading this is already doing something and needs a body to help, please contact me. If anyone from the SPF or LTA would be open to discussing this topic and enacting some positive change for the country I call home and every cyclist in it, then I’d be more than willing to participate and know a peloton of cyclists that would jump at the chance.
I also want to say that the only reason I’m writing this is that I truly love Singapore… I’ve lived in Singapore for longer than I’ve lived anywhere on earth, it’s home and my family and I feel lucky to live here. I care about Singapore. I care about everyone in Singapore and only want to make it better. Safer.
In closing, I wanted to refer to this letter from Stephen Choo after his buddy got mowed down by a truck on Loyang Way (www.mrbrown.com/blog/2012/08/stephen-choy-my-friend-is-dead.html). I don’t want to ever have to write a letter like this, let alone open it with “If only I’d written this earlier” after losing someone close to me, so I hope this rant of mine hits home with the right people….
Drivers, please just chill and give us a bit of space.
Cyclists, please be careful and don’t flaunt the rules.
SPF & LTA, please accept that you have a problem and commit to addressing and rectifying it. The cycling community is here to help, it’s in our best interest as we’re the ones risking our lives on a daily basis.
Thank you for reading.