On Saturday (21 September), a 65-year-old woman was knocked down after her bicycle collided with an e-scooter in Bedok North at about 10.30pm.
Madam Ong Bee Eng, a logistic assistant packer, was rushed to Changi General Hospital (CGH) in an ambulance after she fell unconscious due to the collision. She suffered a serious brain injury and fractures in her ribs and collar bones.
The 20-year-old male e-scooter rider, was also sent to CGH in a conscious state, and was later arrested for causing grievous hurt by rash act, said the police.
Madam Ong’s son, Ng Chin Khai, told The Straits Times (ST) that his mother had be taken to the hospital before he arrived at the scene. “Doctors say she could be left in a vegetative state after her operation. We are praying that she will wake up,” said Mr Ng.
He added, “My mother has been cycling around the neighbourhood for more than 10 years. I was told that she was about to cross a zebra crossing when the e-scooter, which was travelling very fast, hit her.”
It is said that Madam Ong was on her way home in her bicycle after attending a wake when the accident occurred.
Mr Ong added that his mother is in a critical condition, and went into a coma.
However, on Monday (23 September), doctors told her family to prepare for the worst after her blood pressure dropped in the morning.
“Doctors told us to ask whoever wanted to see her for the last time to come,” said Andy Ong, brother of the elderly woman.
Mr Ong said to ST that her blood pressure has been low throughout the day and she is currently on life support. He added that his family does not plan to remove it.
He also noted that her brain was not functioning anymore, and he hopes that “she will go peacefully”.
Over 100 friends and family were moving in and out of her ward at CGH’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit on Monday to visit her after learning about her worsening condition.
Madam Ong’s brother also revealed that some of her colleagues also visited her at the hospital, with many of them were seen crying when they left the ward. “She is very well-respected by them, and treats some of them like her children. Wherever she goes, she makes friends with everyone,” said Mr Ong.
The family is now urging eyewitnesses to come forward to explain what happened at the accident, but no one has contacted them just yet, said Mr Ng.
Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily reported that an eyewitness, known only as Mr Yang, told the newspaper that the e-scooter was probably moving at more than 50kmh and crashed into the victim after he failed to stop in time.
Mr Yang said, “Both of them fell to the ground. The rider fell on the grass, and his arms were red and swollen. The woman fell on the footpath and fainted on the spot. She was also bleeding heavily.”
Following the collision, the e-scooter rider got up and shouted that it was not his fault, Mr Yang stated.
Additionally, a large pool of blood could also be seen at the accident scene, and the front wheel and basket of the bicycle were damaged.
Sin Min also stated that the e-scooter might have been heavily modified and exceeded the weight limit.
The permitted weight limit for personal mobility devices, power-assisted bicycles and bicycles is 20kg.
If that’s not all, based on regulations that was implemented in 2017, it is noted that these devices must also not be wider than 70cm and their speed limit must be capped at 25kmh when they’re on public paths.
After reading this news, many netizens penned their unhappiness and anger towards e-scooter and personal mobility devices (PMD) in ST’s Facebook page. They urge the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to have more stringent rules to control the speed for these vehicle, or even better, ban it altogether.
Ian Wan Choon Keat said that no matter how much he tries to rationalise the reason why an accident involving PMD or e-scooter occur, he “can’t seem to fully convince (himself) that such devices should be allowed”. Given that Singapore is a country that banned chewing gum and prohibited durian on public transport, some online users as why the Government can’t ban these devices since there have been countless accidents that happened in the country involving them.
Some call PMD drivers “sickening” and “real pest” for their reckless driving on the road. They added that these riders go “too fast without giving ways to pedestrians and strollers”.
Facebook user Heng Heng stated that most riders who ride fast are the ones who deliver food. As such, he call for delivery companies “to set the timing longer (for food) to reach customers place from point a to be so it helps reduce riders from rushing”.
A few even shared their personal experiences of them encountering riders who ride their e-scooter or PMD really fast at public areas. They explained that some of them nearly hit other cyclists or people who are walking in the same pathway.
However, John Han said that not all PMD riders are reckless and “many who used them carefully and abiding to the rules”. As such, he suggested that the Government “broaden our pathway” because even without the PMD, “some paths are really very small and It’s scary during peak hours when the human crowd grows”.