Lane Splitting in Singapore

Was surfing through the facebook page of Singapore Reckless Drivers and watching the user-submitted videos of accidents happening around Singapore. I am alarmed, though not surprised, by the number of accidents involving motorcycles. Sometimes it appears to be the rider’s fault, other times, no fault of the rider at all. But nevertheless, riders are always vulnerable in an accident. I’m a relatively new rider myself and have been driving for many years (still am driving).

I noticed that while generally, most riders lane-split responsibly, there are some who seem to treat it as an exclusive lane. I don’t think there are any laws in Singapore which prohibit nor promote lane splitting. But please remember that we are lane-splitting at the courtesy of the other road users (namely drivers). It is not a right of travel passage for bikers. Yes, drivers should be courteous to give a little space to riders lane-splitting. But remember – that’s courtesy, not obligation. I believe our roads were designed to allow 2 moving vehicles abreast to flow safely, not 3. The 3rd vehicle in 2 lanes inherently introduces an increased risk of accident. The space between 2 lanes is there to allow a margin of safety should any road dummy inadvertently makes a minor mistake. Introducing a 3rd vehicle in that 2 lanes significantly reduces that margin of safety. While I believe that most drivers in Singapore are tolerant to rider lane-splitting, I think it’s the rider’s responsibility to do it safely.

Riders, let’s ride responsibly. Drivers, let’s be more courteous. I recall a friend giving me this advise as I was taking my 2B lessons – ride as if everyone on the road is out to kill you; avoid them, and you should be okay. Never insist on your right of way. Because no matter whether if you are in the right or in the wrong, as long as you are injured, you lose.

Ride safe everyone!

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