Jakarta – The Transportation Ministry is drafting a regulation to protect the safety of bicyclists as the activity becomes increasingly popular amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry's land transportation director general, Budi Setiyadi, said his office had been in touch with cycling communities, particularly those in Jakarta, to discuss the plan, according to tempo.co.
The draft, Budi added, would consist of three main parts: technical requirements for bicycles, cycling etiquette and supporting facilities.
The regulation would divide bikes into two categories: regular bikes, used for daily mobility, and mountain or racing bikes, used for sport.
"Regular bikes, for instance, must be equipped with a bell or horn, a fender, a brake, a reflector and a lamp," Budi said on Tuesday, as quoted by tempo.co.
He added that riders should adhere to biking etiquette while riding, such as wearing helmets, wearing reflective clothing at night and obeying traffic regulations.
Authorities plan to provide bicycle parking areas in public places, including at train stations, bus terminals and airports. "We need to create traffic signs, lanes and markings," Budi said.
The draft of the regulation will be discussed in a public hearing at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta as well as in Bandung, West Java, next week.
"This regulation is being imposed to create traffic order and ensure the safety of the [bike] riders on the road," Budi said.
The proposed regulation carries several restrictions, including a ban on carrying passengers and on equipping aftermarket parts to accommodate passengers. However, bicycles that were designed with a passenger seat would be exempt in the current version of the regulation.
The regulation would prohibit the use of cellphones and umbrellas while riding bikes. Only street vendors would be allowed to use umbrellas while riding.
Bicycles would not be allowed to ride alongside other vehicles in the same lane, and a maximum of two bicycles would be permitted to ride alongside each other in a lane.
Budi said the regulation was under review and subject to changes according to the input of various parties. (asp)