Alarm bells over cycling related accidents

Syazwani Hj Rosli

Eighty-one accidents involving cyclists were from 2014 to June 17, 2019, according to Brunei National Road Safety Council (BNRSC) Head of Secretariat Haji Rozaly bin Haji Saidon.

He said 2015 recorded the highest number of cases with 22 followed by 2014 with 17, while 2017 recorded 15 cases. Accidents involving cyclists from the beginning of this year until June 17 totalled to eight.

Haji Rozaly highlighted that the number of cycling-related deaths from 2014 to June 17, 2019 is four cases. He made these comments during a High-Level Policy Dialogue with stakeholders on cycling safety in Brunei Darussalam at The Centrepoint Hotel, Gadong by the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) and BNRSC.

The dialogue was attended by Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul ‘Ali Yil-Kabier bin Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz, President of the Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation; Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof as the Chairman of BNRSC and Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin as the Deputy Chairman of BNRSC.

Member of the Legislative Council (LegCo) Iswandy bin Ahmad as Ambassador of BNRSC, permanent secretaries, deputy permanent secretaries, department heads and officials from various ministries and agencies, Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation as well as private stakeholders were also present.

Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul ‘Ali Yil-Kabier bin Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz, President of the Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation; Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof, Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin and Legislative Council member Iswandy bin Ahmad at the dialogue session
Head of Secretariat of the Brunei National Road Safety Council Haji Rozaly bin Haji Saidon
Attendees of the High-Level Policy Dialogue. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI

Haji Rozaly said some of the initiatives undertaken by BNRSC include road campaigns which have been ongoing since 2015, educational talks in schools and bicycle clinics.

He also shared proposed initiatives for 2019 including the 3rd Workshop with stakeholders on cycling issues, amendment to bicycle regulations to be enforced this year and the guidelines on safety car to be finalised and enforced soon.

The dialogue’s main objective was to foster discussion among a diverse group of multi-stakeholder policymakers and private cycling entities towards addressing gaps and challenges related to cycling safety in the country.

The dialogue saw an invited expert from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Jo Yee Yung Fung who has been involved in the planning of FIFA 2022 Qatar Transportation Plan, 2010 Winter Olympics Transportation Plan and the Vancouver Public Bike Share Scheme.

The dialogue came at a juncture when there has been a growing concern on cycling safety on the roads and highways. A cycling poll was conducted recently whereby the results also helped identify ways to improve cycling policies, regulations and initiatives.