Monday, November 4, 2013

My cycling in Singapore experiences - On safety and convenience

In some recent discussions, I realized that some people see bicycle users conveniently change roles between vehicle and pedestrians as an issue. They also feel that it is unfair. How is it that cyclist conveniently change roles between vehicle and pedestrians an issue? How is unfair an issue?

Yes, I agree the danger in sudden changing without checking, etc. and these are safety issues that needs to be tackled. However, we should target the unsafe mindsets and behaviors, not everything. The ability to conveniently change roles and doing so in a safe way should not be the issue.

In some cases, yes it is for convenience, in some cases it is actually for safety. Basically these two objectives shape the way cyclists behave. However, I believe for most mature enough bicycle users, safety is always the underlying first prerequisite before trying to be more convenience. Many seemingly dangerous behaviors of bicycle users are actually a safer way, if not the safest, and usually the safest + most convenient + most not disturbing to others all balanced, compared to alternatives, which were usually not thought of whenever many are commenting on such behaviors.

In fact this is human nature. Reflecting upon it, I believe everyone, of course including all motorists, are sacrificing some safety for convenience all the time. Just that motorists are much more restricted by equipment, laws, rules and enforcement to not able to have much convenience gained.

To motorists who want to but very restricted to do likewise, it seems unfair. However, please consider the number killed by bicycle users and those by motorists. Consider the killing potential of motorized vehicles and bicycles. Consider the fact (I once read somewhere) that traffic rules existence was created by too many fatal accidents involving motorized vehicles.

Thus, indeed, bicycle is always sidelined because too little people understand bicycle as a commuting device. People have forgotten that motorized vehicles are what makes the roads dangerous, not the pedestrians, bicycle users, horse carriages, etc., which have been around many decades and centuries before motorized vehicles, which gave rise to road traffic rules/laws that weren't needed for centuries. Until the day when bicycle usage caused 1% or even 0.1% of fatalities caused by motorized vehicles, please just let bicycle users do the safe and convenient acts.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails