I HAVE been noticing an increasing interest in cycling as a sports activity in Brunei Darussalam.
While I very much welcome this healthy style of living, I also notice that some cyclists show lack of respect for their own safety as well as that of the other road users.
Once I had the experience of being yelled at and called name by a cyclist during a traffic jam without much explanation of what I may have done wrong.
My nature of work and where I live require me to commute from Bandar to Belait weekly.
I often see people who cycle on this highway – where people often drive more than 100kmph – without escort by a “safety car”.
Sometimes even when the day is becoming dark, I still see people cycling on the highway with bare minimum safety precautions. Things like this, in my opinion, are just disasters waiting to happen. Horrible accidents happen one too many times on the highway.
I urge our enthusiastic cyclists to reconsider cycling on the highway without the “safety car”.
The “safety car” can also act as an emergency vehicle in case of a bad weather or any health-related issues.
That said, one incident regarding cyclists with “safety car” who have taken over one lane road results in car drivers behind them having to drive at the cyclists’ pace. I urge them to be considerate about using road space as well.
I hope the relevant authorities can allocate some place where cyclists can enjoy their cycling while being safe.
I am not talking about building a brand new cycling lane on highways, but rather allocate place where clear signs are erected and where there is enough lighting and road hums to make car drivers aware of cycling activities in that area.
Authorities can also make it mandatory for people to have a permit to cycle on highways after they have taken all the necessary safety precautions according to their safety standard. They can also hold an awareness course to cyclists about safety and etiquette every week during ‘Bandarku Ceria’.
Land Transport Department (JPD) may also consider making it a mandatory learning on how to recognise cyclists’ hand signals when students are taking their driving licence tests.
I praise the government’s efforts in trying to make Bruneian living a healthy lifestyle by encouraging activities like cycling.
However, we must never neglect the health and safety aspect of it, and together we must do whatever we can to minimise the hazards.