02 July 2008

Pedestrian, Cyclist and Motorists

Saw two forum letters with regards to the the rights and place of cyclist.

Bikes vs Bus (Today, 17 Jun 2008)

Cyclist v pedestrian: whose right of way? (ST, 20 Feb 2008)

My view is that the issue lies not in deciding should bicycles stay on the road or pedestrian walkway. The issue lies in how we (motorist, pedestrian and bicyclist) can accommodate each other. The issue also lies in how we view our "rights".

Cyclist should not be restricted to either the road or pedestrian walkway. Cyclist should be free to choose which path is safer for them. Having said this, I think all cyclist should exercise caution and put on protection gears such as helmets, arm and knee guard and install blinking/warning lights. Cycle in a single file and keep to the left so that motorists can bypass them. Also, if they choose to ride on pavements, they should slow down or even come down and push their bicycles if they arrive at a crowded/tight spot.

Pedestrians too, should exercise a bit of patience and not hog the entire pavement. When a cyclist rings the bell, he is trying to warn the pedestrian and hopefully, make some space for him to pass through. Pedestrian can simply step aside, make way for the cyclist to pass and continue on their leisurely stroll.

Motorists too, should slow down and overtake when they spot cyclists on the road. Tailgating cyclists or anyone for that matter, is (to me) a foolish thing to do.

What I have suggested above is commonsense and simple thing for everyone to do but why are some people so intolerant of each others' presence? and demand to know who has the right of way?

Pedestrians do not have full, absolute and exclusive rights to use the pavement, neither do the motorists have full, absolute and exclusive rights to use the road.

Cyclists, too have to be considerate to the pedestrians who have as much right as cyclist to use the pavement.

Motorists... just because you paid road tax, COE and ERP doesn't make you king of the road.

But why are we so obsessed with determining who has the rights to what? More strangely is that we seem to be always appealing to the authorities to set rules/laws to determine our "rights". Are we being deprived of rights in the first place? Or are we so naive to think that every rights has to be determined by the "authorities"? Don't we exercise our basic human rights with common sense to share the common places in this little dot that we call home? Can't we use our common sense and exercise our rights and at the same time not depriving others of their right? Or are we still behaving like little children and run to mommy/daddy to tell us what to do and what not to do.

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