Wednesday, May 30, 2012
All have part to play
I AM saddened by the death of a cyclist who was hit by a lorry along Changi Coast Road last Saturday ('Cyclist killed, driver arrested'; Sunday).Changi Coast Road is popular among cyclists, and there are many 'cyclists ahead' warning signs to warn motorists to look out for them.Drivers need to recognise that cyclists have an equal right to use the road, and to keep a safe distance when overtaking them.There have been suggestions online that cyclists should not be on the road because they do not pay road tax. But determining who gets to use public facilities does not hinge on how much tax one pays. After all, we also see road tax-paying motorcyclists being squeezed off the roads.More important is sharing whatever limited resources we have on this tiny island, and looking out for one another. It is time for the authorities to review some of the rules and penalties for law-breaking motorists. It is not just about catching errant drivers like speedsters, but also the penalties they face after being convicted.Some of the penalties are too light, especially for those who cause deaths through their recklessness.While no amount of fines and jail terms would bring back a life, the penalties must serve as a deterrent to other motorists.While rules and penalties may maintain order, it is also important for road users to have the right mindset and attitude. They have to keep themselves and others safe on the roads. It is about being forgiving, friendly and gracious.