*** ----> Bahrain, let's take biking safety lessons from Taiwan! | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain, let's take biking safety lessons from Taiwan!

By P. Unnikrishnan

When travelling to a new country, one often encounters something exciting or admirable. My experience was no different when I visited Taiwan for the first time.

Upon checking into one of Taipei City’s tallest hotels, I observed the bustling road below, teeming with vehicles.

Heavy traffic poses a significant challenge in Taiwan, especially in Taipei city. However, they have managed to construct exceptional roads.

One can see numerous bridges spanning over various directions where vehicles flow seamlessly.

Despite the occasional traffic jams, a remarkable observation is the adherence to traffic rules by most drivers with great patience.

Even pedestrians patiently await the green signal before crossing more minor roads within the city. What struck me most was the attention given to bikers.

Dedicated lanes have been allocated for two-wheelers in many areas. Moreover, near traffic signals, designated boxes allow bikers to position themselves ahead of other vehicles, including buses.

Bikers are the first to accelerate when the signal turns green, often outpacing other cars.

These lanes are designed to ensure the safety and convenience of bikers without disrupting four-wheeled traffic.

In areas with limited road space, lanes are reduced to accommodate these extra lanes for two-wheelers.

According to some locals, incidents involving two-wheelers are relatively rare.

In contrast, accidents involving bikers, particularly delivery personnel, are more common in Bahrain.

Delivery riders often compromise their safety by maneuvering through traffic to meet delivery deadlines, sometimes resulting in accidents, some of which can be severe.

Bahrain must address this issue and consider implementing separate lanes for bikers, like Taiwan’s successful model.

Furthermore, the increasing use of cars for deliveries exacerbates parking issues in many areas, including Manama.

Encouraging biking in a safe environment can help mitigate pollution and traffic congestion.

It’s time for Bahrain’s traffic department to prioritize resolving the biker’s dilemma by implementing dedicated lanes, boosting road safety, and minimizing environmental impact.


P. Unnikrishnan, Chairman and Managing Editor of The Daily Tribune