More than 25 cyclists arrested by the LTA and the traffic police for riding in groups larger than permitted

SINGAPORE – More than 25 cyclists were caught on the morning of May 25 for traveling in groups larger than permitted.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Facebook later in the day that the cyclists were caught along Clementi Road and West Coast Highway in its latest round of operations with the Traffic Police (TP) against wayward cyclists.

The current restrictions, which went into effect in January 2022, limit five cyclists riding in groups if riding single file, or 10 cyclists riding in pairs. It is also necessary to maintain a minimum distance of 30 m (the equivalent of two streetlights) between groups of cyclists.

In a similar joint operation conducted by LTA and TP from late April to early May 2024, 16 cyclists were caught for riding in a group of more than 10 people. Six others were found with non-compliant manual bicycles and without a working handbrake.

These operations were carried out on Dunearn Road and Pasir Panjang Road, as well as the Woodlands Waterfront area.

Cyclists who violate the group size rule can be fined $150.

Challenges faced by group cyclists

Experienced group riders told ST that they do their best to follow the rules, although they do not fully understand the reason behind the restrictions on group cycling.

On January 1, 2022, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) released the recommendations of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (Amap) to put a limit on groups of cyclists, as it will ensure that the space they occupy is similar to that of a bus .

For the group size limit, Amap had said that larger groups of cyclists increased the difficulty of maintaining orderly and predictable behavior among members, which could increase risks for the cyclists themselves. He added that the gap between groups of cyclists would leave enough room to overtake vehicles.

A member of the cycling community in western Singapore, Khaw Cheng Chuan, 44, a platform manager at an IT company, said there may be situations where other groups of cyclists ride near their group due to the road or traffic conditions, without maintaining a minimum distance of 30m.

But the entire group of cyclists, including your own group who tried to follow the rules, can be punished if law enforcement officers catch them at the time.

Vareck Ng, 22, a member of cycling groups Slow Biking Singapore and Safety for Active Mobility Users, said it is a challenge to consistently ensure a distance of 30 meters between different groups of cyclists, especially when on the move by bike.

The future college student noted that this diverts cyclists’ attention from the road and oncoming traffic.

Among the suggestions cyclists in the group had to improve road safety in their community were intensifying educational efforts among all road users, monitoring errant behavior among drivers, and building cycling-focused infrastructure.

As some motorists and road users still view cyclists as a nuisance, Marco Mejia, 41, president of the Singapore-based Anza (Australia and New Zealand Association) cycling community, said developing his empathy for cyclists cyclists will be crucial.

“It’s a very small window of inconvenience when you’re waiting five seconds behind a group of cyclists… it’s more about creating a harmonious interchange of roads,” he added.