LAST month, the Singapore government made it mandatory that drivers of cars standing with engine idling to pick up someone in the city or anywhere else will be fined S$70 (RM174).
The reason? The Singapore government is pursuing a policy to make the island republic a green city. So, any source of pollution must be addressed, including the emission of unburnt gases from car exhaust systems.
As another way to cut down on pollution from vehicles, the government is also encouraging people to use bicycles to travel to and from work, as well as for recreation and exercise.
To make it safer for cyclists, the police station in Sembawang launched a television awareness campaign on May 20 to make it known that that there are ample free bicycle parking stations where bicycles can be locked up.
These bicycle parking stations are available in public places, to begin with, in Sembawang. And, most importantly, policemen will be patrolling these places to deter thefts.
In fact, in and around the Lion City, the government has put in place cycling paths, including special tracks on public roads. This means cycling in Singapore is safe even on city roads.
However, where there are no bicycle tracks, cyclists are advised to use the most inner lane on roads.
Of late, the Kuala Lumpur mayor, too, has been encouraging city dwellers to use bicycles to get around instead of cars.
Most shopping and entertainment centres, restaurants, eateries and offices are knitted close to each other, making them accessible within five or 10 minutes of cycling, whereas it can take half an hour or more in a car, especially if there is traffic.
I welcome this suggestion.
Unfortunately, at the moment, it is dangerous to cycle in Kuala Lumpur, especially since cyclists must share the roads with cars and other larger vehicles.
I, therefore, urge the Kuala Lumpur mayor to build cycling tracks along city roads and ensure that there are sufficient bicycle parking stations if he really wants to see more people using bicycles.