by Simon Lim
I will be straight-talking.
I consider People’s Action Party (PAP) Minister of State, Lam Pin Min’s decision not to ban the use of Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) such as e-scooters and power-assisted bicycles etc but merely tweaked the rules regarding their use at the margins such as imposing their speed limits and banning them on the roads etc as a lack of his in-depth understanding about the dangers and menaces that many such riders pose to other road users on a daily basis, especially to those vulnerable pedestrians such as young children and elderly people on the walkways and roads and it is just plain incompetent and weak pap leadership on full display.
I do not wish for any pap minister’s son or mother to be badly injured or even killed by a speeding PMD before Lam Pin Min is willing to truly understand what many of our other innocent road users are facing daily.
PMDs are not required to be registered, owners don’t pay road tax and they have no insurance cover whatsoever etc. The speed limits imposed on them is more academic, to comfort himself and to pacify the general public than to achieve any meaningful purposes. Just yesterday evening, I was nearly hit by speeding PMD on a pedestrian walkway along River Valley Road.
The arguments put forth by pap ministers were one, PMDs complement our larger efforts towards a car-lite society and two, it bridges the first and last mile gap of some public transport such as the MRT. Those are clever and seductive rhetorics but they cannot stand up to deeper scrutiny.
Like many other things in life, in theory, theory and practice are the same but in practice, they are not. The inconsideration, danger and menace that many PMD riders pose on the pedestrian walkways or even blatantly on public roads far outweigh any clever arguments and I do not want to see any more young children, pregnant women or elderly people being hurt badly by such riders anymore. If Lam Pin Min doesn’t understand that in theory, theory and practice are the same but in practice, they can be worlds apart, then I say that all his education has gone to the dogs.
I believe that many citizens will only agree that PMDs can continue to be used on our roads and pedestrian walkways provided they must firstly be registered with Land Transport Authority (LTA), that they must have full insurance cover for everybody’s benefit, effective enforcement efforts against their indiscriminate and irresponsible use must be stepped up and the penalties for their offences must be substantially enhanced.
If my above suggestions can be humbly acceptable to them and implemented, it will be a win-win situation for all road users and law-abiding PMD users will have nothing to fear. Singaporeans must learn that they will again pay heavily with an incompetent government like in this official couldn’t be seriously bothered with PMD menace case. Think.
This was first published on Simon Lim’s Facebook page and reproduced with permission.