Cyclists in Malaysia are sometimes much maligned for being inconsiderate road users but the onus is on everyone, including vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders, to make road usage safe for everyone. On the part of cyclists, the Malaysian Insitute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) has issued a video on cycling safety, including proper roadworthiness of a bicycle and road manners.

As befits its name, the MIROS video places a strong emphasis on safety and reminds cyclists that they need to “Be Seen. Be Alert. Be Safe” as per the tagline in the video. As a good friend – both a cyclist and a motorcycle racer as well as a professional cycling coach – once reminded us, “no one is responsible for your safety but yourself.”

The video starts with correct helmet wear and ensuring proper and safe operation of your bicycle, including functional brakes, safety equipment such as bell and lights as well as proper condition and inflation of tyres. On the road, cyclists are reminded not to ride against the flow of traffic and to keep to the left.

Traffic signs and lights, road markings and road rules are to be obeyed with emphasis placed on stopping at intersections. Cyclists should be aware of oncoming traffic before pulling out of intersections and clearly signal their intention if turning left or right.

Also included in the video are guidelines for bringing bicycles aboard trains and cyclists are reminded that they should not cycle in high pedestrian traffic areas but instead carry or push their bicycle. As a vulnerable road users, cyclists should also stay alert to road hazards that could case them to lose control of the bicycle.

Wherever possible, cyclists should use demarcated bicycle lanes or bike paths, giving way to pedestrians by slowing down and sounding the bell. Pedestrians should be passed on the right in a safe manner, giving proper allowance for distance.