New LTA programme aims to improve skills and etiquette of cyclists, PMD users

SINGAPORE – Cyclists and users of power-assisted bicycles (PABs) and personal mobility devices (PMDs) can polish their riding skills under a new programme by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The Confidence on Wheels (CW) programme, launched on Wednesday (Dec 15), teaches them safe riding practices, the use of active mobility infrastructure, and the rules under the Active Mobility Act.

The free 45-minute session is open to people of all ages – from primary school pupils to adults – and is customised for the different age groups.

The course covers both theory and practical components. Besides learning the rules, safety guidelines and gracious behaviour, participants are also taught how to check that their bicycles are in order before going out onto a circuit.

The circuit has stations that simulate narrow paths and road obstacles. Participants learn how to control and manoeuvre their bicycles in various scenarios.

As children are unlikely to ride on public roads, their circuit has mock-ups of key cycling path infrastructure instead.

The CW programme, a refreshed and shorter version of the Safe Riding Programme (SRP), focuses more on riding skills.

The SRP itself was revised in mid-2017 to cater to cyclists and the growing population of PMD users. It was previously called the Safe Cycling Programme.

Some 84,000 people have undergone the SRP. Participants include those who signed up voluntarily and errant users caught for reckless riding and speeding on public paths.

Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and the guest of honour at the CW’s launch, said the programme is not mandatory, but he hopes that companies with riders will sign them up for the course.

“We want to promote this as widely as possible… because it is not just people who ride for jobs, but also anyone who uses roads or paths, because they are in a position to promote a more gracious cycling culture,” he said.

“We also want it to be pervasive so that… we can have a more sustainable ride culture in Singapore.”

Mr Baey Yam Keng (left) tries out the circuit at the launch of the Confidence on Wheels on Dec 15, 2021. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

LTA hopes to get 10,000 active mobility device users to sign up for the programme over the next two years.

CW trainer Eugene Quan, a 48-year-old triathlon coach, said: “There is a misconception that cycling is dangerous, and many people avoid it…”

“Through this programme, we hope to inculcate an interest in cycling, especially in the young… After all, cycling is probably going to be a popular mode of commuting.”

Singapore University of Social Sciences student Lim Qi En, 21, who took part in the programme on Wednesday, said: “I enjoy night cycling, but I am nervous when it comes to cycling on roads as I don’t know the correct rules. Besides, drivers also drive very fast and I can’t see very clearly at night.”

Ms Lim, who is president of the university’s outdoor interest group, added: “After participating in today’s programme, I feel more confident to cycle on roads.

“The circuit training… simulates real-life scenarios, like how to manoeuvre my bike along narrow paths.”

To sign up for the programme, schools can approach EM Services, an accredited partner with the Singapore Cycling Federation, or Unique Speed. Individuals are encouraged to sign up through organisations, such as their companies or community groups. The organisations can contact LTA for details.

Meanwhile, LTA has also partnered bicycle retailers to distribute to their customers brochures explaining the rules and regulations of safe cycling on roads.

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