With more people turning to bicycles as a means to get around the metro amid this pandemic, government agencies and various LGUs have started establishing bike lanes to make roads safer for cyclists.
But of course, pushing for better infrastructure isn’t enough—cyclists must also receive the proper education on safe road use. To address this, SM Supermalls has partnered with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to launch its new Bike Manual.
Also referred to as the Active Transport Manual, the booklet aims to educate cyclists about road safety and etiquette. It contains information on basic safety gear, regular bicycle inspection and maintenance, and traffic protocols. It also teaches cyclists how to use hand signals, identify blind spots to avoid crashes, and make safe turns.
The DOTr-SM Bike Manual will be distributed for free at all SM Malls nationwide. The DOTr has announced that there are around 140,000 published copies in total—both in English and Filipino—that are now available.
“Across all SM Supermalls, there are now more than 500 bike racks, and more than 80 repair stations nationwide, and now, thanks to our partnership with the DOTr and the support of all other partners, we are here to launch the next phase of our project, which is the DOTr-SM Bike Manual,” said SM Supermalls president Steven Tan.
“Active transport will help us move more people across our cities and municipalities safely and promote economic recovery, by reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission through a well-ventilated and physically distanced means of travel for our frontliners and essential workers,” said Department of Health (DOH) director Beverly Ho.
DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade also appealed to other motorists to prioritize sharing the road with cyclists: “Nananawagan din ho ako sa ating mga kababayang nagmamaneho ng mga de-motor na sasakyan na pairalin ang pagbibigayan sa kalsada, lalo na kung may bike lane na nakatayo sa mga ito. Gawin nating ligtas ang ating mga sarili, pati na rin ang buhay ng mga namimisikleta at pedestrian.”
We understand enabling safer roads goes both ways, and educating all road users—not just cyclists—is the true way forward. That said, this move by the DOTr and SM Supermalls is definitely a step in the right direction. What do you think this, cyclists? Chime in via the comments section.