Singapore People’s Party (SPP) issued a statement on Thursday to express its concern over the continuing spate of accidents involving Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) in Singapore. The party highlighted the recent accidents reported in media and note the importance of making neighbourhoods safe for children, elderly and members of the public.
SPP noted that other than regulations currently set in place to restrict speed and power of the PMDs, there also needs to be a review of how cycling and running paths are designed and make urgent changes.
“In the area where Ardini was hit, there were no bollards or speed bumps to ensure that riders slowed down at intersections. Worse, pedestrians cannot move from one walkway to another without being put at risk from oncoming cyclists or PMD users. This is dangerous.” wrote the party.
It stressed that it is critical that the LTA steps up on education and working with the various stakeholders extensively to push for greater responsibility among users of PMDs, and pedestrians as well.
Here is what it wrote in full:
There has been yet another series of accidents involving e-scooters or personal mobility devices (PMDs).
On 17 April, a 65-year old woman was knocked down in Ang Mo Kio while she was on the way to fetch her grandchild from school.
The e-scooter rider did not render assistance and fled the scene of the accident, and there is now a request for witnesses.
On the same day, there was yet another incident in which a 26-year-old e-scooter rider was taken to hospital after a collision involving a car in front of Kembangan MRT station.
Over the last two weeks, there have been three other incidents involving e-scooters as well.
On 16 April, an 86-year-old rider was taken to the hospital after an accident with a bus in Yishun.
On 12 April, a six-year-old boy was injured after an e-scooter rider crashed into him near Punggol Park.
On the same day, a 24-year-old e-scooter rider was arrested after he allegedly knocked down an 11-year-old girl in Pasir Ris.
The 11-year-old – Ardini Nabila – now possibly needs long term treatment for injuries sustained to her jaw and teeth.
When the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) visited Ardini and her family at their home in Pasir Ris, there was a clear message which both parents of the injured schoolgirl wanted to send across – we need to keep our neighbourhoods safe for our children, elderly and members of the public.
The incidents over the last week are the latest in a string of accidents involving PMDs.
In March, a 45-year old woman slipped into a coma after being knocked down by an e-scooter.
Last November, a 52-year-old man using such a device died in an accident with a double-decker bus in Kaki Bukit.
The same month, another man was arrested after a video showing an e-scooter zipping down the Pan-Island Expressway went viral on social media.
In October last year, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan told Parliament that there were about 90 accidents involving electric bicycles and PMDs in the first half of 2017 alone.
The new Active Mobility Act may possibly address some issues like how PMDs should weigh no more than 20kg and measure no wider than 700mm. They also cannot exceed a speed limit of 15kmh on footpaths, and 25kmh on cycling and shared paths in park connectors.
However, the issue doesn’t just end with the PMDs or the riders alone.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) needs to look at the way cycling and running paths are designed and make urgent changes.
In the area where Ardini was hit, there were no bollards or speed bumps to ensure that riders slowed down at intersections. Worse, pedestrians cannot move from one walkway to another without being put at risk from oncoming cyclists or PMD users. This is dangerous.
The LTA also needs to step up on enforcement and surveillance on the ground.
Perhaps, the LTA should provide an update on how many enforcement officers are being deployed and in which areas, and during what times of the day.
We also believe that mandatory insurance may be necessary so that victims can file for claims in the event of any accident. This will also put the onus of riders to be cautious.
Finally, it is also critical that the LTA steps up on education and working with the various stakeholders extensively to push for greater responsibility among users of PMDs, and pedestrians as well.
Our common spaces are meant for all members of the public to use, and there is an urgent need for safety to be exercised.
The PMDs serve a grave risk to safety and well-being of people, especially children and the elderly.
One more incident is another incident too many.