Cycling rules in Singapore


Whether you commute on the daily or indulge in the occasional ECP ride, cycling is a practical way to get around town while scoring bonus fitness points on the side. But before setting off to explore all 500KM of Park Connector Network or our many cycling routes, these eight cycling rules in Singapore will keep you and those around you safe – and on the right side of the law.

Of course – most of us know to keep left on cycling paths, and ring our bell to alert pedestrians and fellow path users to our presence. But from bicycle weight limits to hand signals, even the most seasoned riders might unknowingly break some of these lesser-known cycling rules:

Check out our other articles on cycling in Singapore:


1. Forgetting to turn on your bike lights at night


cycling rules in singapore - turn on red rear light and white front light
Image credit:
@rrhs_ride

Singapore’s weather can be relentlessly hot and humid, so it’s little wonder that night cycling holds such appeal. However, during these hours of darkness, it’s essential to ensure your bicycle is equipped with a rear red light or reflector and a white headlight – especially between 7PM-7AM, according to the Highway Code.

But even though most cyclists here adhere to this rule, many make the mistake of opting for multicoloured lights thinking that the ensuing mobile light show might help make them more visible. Unfortunately for them, only white lights are allowed to be used in front, and red lights on the rear – and for good reason.

cycling rules in singapore - multicolour lights are not allowed
Those channelling their inner Robocop with red-and-blue strobing lights might end up having to explain their poor purchase to a cop instead
Image credit: Nisse Kira

While being decked out like a Christmas tree might seem harmless, standardising front and rear colours will help fellow cyclists, pedestrians and drivers to check at a glance the direction in which you’re headed. This lets them anticipate your movements, especially when visibility is poor.

cycling rules in singapore - colourful LED bicycle singapore uncle
Someone didn’t get the memo
Image credit: Curly Traveller

Penalty: $1,000 fine | Three months’ jail


2. Riding at the same speed on park connectors and pavement


AMEO singapore
LTA Active Mobility Enforcement Officers (AMEOs) are deployed with speed guns to detect riders going above the speed limit – 10KM/H on pedestrian paths like these.
Image credit: LTA

Cyclists can easily reach speeds of over 30KM/H, making collisions with pedestrians dangerous or even fatal. For the safety of pedestrians, cyclists have to stick to a strict speed limit depending on the path they’re on.

On pedestrian walkways, riders have to keep under 10KM/H – about the speed of a jogger – to match the slower traffic in these areas. This goes up to 25KM/H on clearly demarcated PCN routes, which are usually used for running, skating and other sports that involve higher speeds.

cycling rules in singapore - PCN cycling path
Keep under the speed limit of 25KM/H on marked PCN routes
Image credit: LTA

But for Tour de France-wannabes with a need for speed, you’re free to floor it on public roads, which generally have a speed limit of 50KM/H – well above the speeds Olympic cyclists usually hit. However, this means you’ll have to adhere to the same super-strict road rules as motorists, including obeying traffic signs, signals and crossings.

To keep to the letter of the law, a cycling computer can help you monitor your speed – with options that range from the affordable Decathlon 100 Wired Bike Computer ($15) to the advanced Garmin Edge 530 ($513). Otherwise, mobile apps (Bike Computer for iOS | Bike Computer for Android) can also help you keep track of your speed in real-time.

Penalty: $1,000 fine | Three months’ jail

Updated speed limits on the LTA website


3. Texting while riding


cycling rules in singapore - texting while cycling
LTA rules state that riders must not hold their mobile devices or “operate” any of its functions while moving on a public path
Image credit: LTA

Whether to take a quick peek at Google Maps or to quickly let your friend know you’re on the way, it might be tempting to pull out your phone as you’re pedalling away. However, for the safety of fellow path users, cyclists aren’t allowed to use their mobile devices while in motion – a rule that even novice road users will be familiar with.

Instead, find a safe spot to stop your bike momentarily to answer your emails or calls, and tuck your phone away before setting off once again. For those who need a little help with navigation while exploring new spots, phone holders will let you keep an eye on Google Maps as you keep both hands on the handlebars for complete control.

Penalty: $1,000 fine | Three months’ jail


4. Taking your hands off the handlebars while cycling


cycling rules in singapore - cycling without hands
Image credit: @dan.zero.nine
Photo for illustration purposes only

For those gifted with next-level bike handling skills, popping a wheelie or riding hands-free might come as second nature. But while you’re plying our public paths, any showboating shenanigans might land you in hot soup – you might get slapped with a hefty fine of $5,000 and six months’ jail for “dangerous riding”.

As an extra deterrent, the Highway Code advises all cyclists to “keep both hands on the handlebars of your bicycles” – so to be extra safe, stop your bike in a safe spot to perform tasks like adjusting your helmet or making other adjustments.

Penalty: $5,000 fine | Six months’ jail (under “Dangerous riding” rule)


5. Using handlebars that are more than 70CM wide


cycling rules in singapore - handlebar 700mm
Image credit: LTA

Walk into a bike store and you’ll be amazed by bicycles of all shapes and sizes – but it might surprise even some experienced riders that some of these readily available bikes are banned from our pavements and PCN paths.

To check if your bike is shipshape, measure your handlebars to ensure they’re under 70CM in width. Additionally, check if your bike comes in under 20KG by first weighing yourself, then weighing yourself carrying your bicycle, before subtracting the difference. 

Luckily, most bikes weigh around 10-14KG, and only certain mountain bikes designed for extreme terrain have those ultra-wide handlebars for extra control. 

Penalty: $5,000 fine | Three months’ jail


6. Cycling side-by-side on single-lane roads or during bus lane hours


cycling rules in singapore - abreast on road
Cycle like that, how to overtake?
Image credit: Togoparts

Nothing quite draws the ire of kancheong motorists than a flock of cyclists taking up an entire lane during rush hour. But frustrating as this may be, cycling two abreast is actually allowed by law. To be fair, many cyclists feel this makes group rides much safer as it increases visibility while deterring reckless drivers from getting too close when squeezing past on the same lane. 

However, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right. Cycling guidelines still advise riding “as close as practicable to the left-hand edge of roads”. But though cycling side-by-side is okay on most roads, it’s definitely not allowed on single-lane roads or within bus lanes during operational hours.

Penalty: $1,000 | Three months’ jail


7. Turning or stopping without signalling beforehand


cycling rules in singapore -
A row of cyclists demonstrating the hand signal to turn right
Image credit: Singapore Road Safety Council

Decked out in fluorescent pink and equipped with bright bike lights, all eyes might be on you, but other road users will still not be able to react in time if you make sudden turns and stops. To avoid a car rear-ending you as you abruptly slow down to make a turn, be sure to signal your intention well in advance, and double-check your surroundings for hazards before proceeding.

Before heading out on the road, cyclists should also learn these essential hand signals:

  • Proceed to the left: left hand out, palm facing forward
  • Proceed to the right: right hand out, palm facing forward
  • Stop: right arm out, forearm vertical, palm forward
  • Slow down: right arm out, palm facing downward and moving up and down

singapore cycling hand signals infographic
These signals will also be useful on public paths where there are other users
Image credit: Baey Yam Keng

Penalty: $5,000 fine | Six months’ jail (under “Dangerous riding” rule)


8. Cruising through pedestrian and zebra crossings


cycling on zebra crossing
Cyclists should travel at walking speed through all pedestrian crossings and junctions – though those struggling to balance at such low speeds should dismount and push their bikes instead.
Image credit: @shawnanggg

As narrow paths shared by motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, road crossings can be much more dangerous than they seem. It might be tempting to cruise through these crossings at the same speed you’re travelling on cycling paths – but according to the Highway Code, this is a no-no.  

The simple reason: the faster you travel, the less time everyone has to react – so by the time that bus driver notices a blurry shadow in the corner of his eye and slams on the brakes, it might be far too late.

Instead, the code specifies that riders must cycle across pedestrian and zebra crossings at “walking speed” – a rule that applies to other high-risk areas like carpark entrances and “informal junctions”.

Penalty: $5,000 fine | Six months’ jail (under “Dangerous riding” rule)


Ride safely by sticking to these cycling rules in Singapore



Image credit:
Nparks

From the stunning vistas along majestic waterfront routes to rugged off-road adventures surrounded by nature, cycling unlocks a whole new side of Singapore for your weekend escapades. Apart from keeping you and your loved ones safe, these lesser-known cycling rules in Singapore will also ensure you keep on the ride side of the law on your next jaunt. 

While this article doesn’t contain a comprehensive list of cycling rules, it’s a jumping-off point for you to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of this increasingly popular sport. 

Check out these resources for more cycling rules, regulations and guidelines in Singapore:

Check out our other articles on lesser-known facts and hacks:


Cover image credit: @dan.zero.nine, @olightindonesia