Road safety

Cyclists and bus drivers swap roles to learn about each other’s road safety challenges

SINGAPORE – Avoid bus blind spots by not riding next to a bus.

It was one of the tips given when 20 cyclists and bus drivers came together on Saturday April 30 in a session organized to promote mutual understanding between road users and drive road safety.

They learned good habits through scenario briefings and role-swapping to find out where the dangers lurk and how to avoid them.

Bus operator Go-Ahead Singapore’s session follows annual statistics that show more people were killed or injured in road accidents last year as more activity resumed in the as part of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Traffic police said 107 people died on the roads last year, up from 83 in 2020.

Mr Daniel Corbin, chief operating officer of Go-Ahead Singapore, said the session took place when there were more cyclists on the road since the arrival of Covid-19, sparking discussions about their safety.

Supported by the Land Transport Authority and the Singapore Cycling Federation, the pilot session at Loyang Bus Depot went through scenarios such as cyclists not straying from bus blind spots, especially when the driver negotiates a bend left on a slip road.

The driver’s attention will be focused on traffic on the main road and may not spot the cyclist on the left side of the bus when making a turn.

Cyclists should also avoid riding to the left rear of a bus, but instead keep a distance of 1m behind the vehicle and remain in clear view of traffic.

During the two-and-a-half-hour session, role-playing allowed participants to better understand security issues.

Cyclists sat in the bus driver’s seat to experience what can and cannot be seen from the side of the curb and directly in front of the bus, while bus drivers got to experience cycling on the road.

Mr Eugene Wang, vice president for community and recreation at the Singapore Cycling Federation, said he heard about the bus driver’s blind spots.

“It was very new to me. I learned that it’s really important for us cyclists to be more aware of our surroundings on the road. Don’t assume bus drivers can see you or know what you’re doing or what you’re thinking.”

He added: “We have offered to add more mirrors and sensors to the buses, but the drivers would be overloaded. They already have to check so many things that I hadn’t thought of before, they have to pay attention to the forward, answer questions while driving, and they should lean left and right to get a better view of the road, especially when the bus is crowded and passengers obstruct their view.”

Bus chief captain Md Ahzman Tumin said a problem is when cyclists on single lane roads do not cycle in single file, but three abreast, and monopolize the road, making it difficult for drivers to maintain a distance of 1.5 m between the sides of the bus. and cyclist.