WP NCMP Dennis Tan questions the effectiveness of ‘Code of Conduct’ for pedestrians and PMD users proposed by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel

Earlier today (3 Oct), Workers’ Party Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Dennis Tan Lip Fong took to Facebook to question the effectiveness of having a ‘Code of Conduct’ for pedestrians and personal mobility device (PMD) users.

Citing an article by CNA on the proposal of the ‘Code of Conduct’, Mr Dennis, who is also a shipping lawyer, raised doubts on whether the information from the new regulations will be properly propagated to the public while ensuring that the “public has the right understanding”.

He also asked if such information will be disseminated through the “existing Land Transport Authority (LTA) publicity methods”, adding that he finds such methods to be “insufficient”.

If the Government accepts the proposals, how will it ensure that information is disseminated to the public and that the public has the right understanding, especially to the vast majority of the public who will not voluntarily look for such information? Would it be through existing LTA publicity methods which in my view are insufficient?

#safeuseofpmds

The Active Mobility Advisory Panel submitted a list of recommendations to the government which includes a ‘Code of Conduct’ for pedestrians and PMD users

Formed in 2015, the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP), consisting of 13 members – chaired by Senior Parliamentary Secretary Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim – is responsible for proposing regulations on the safe use of bicycles and PMDs within public spaces in Singapore.

Last Friday (27 Sep), AMAP submitted a list of recommendations to the government which includes a ‘Code of Conduct’ for pedestrians and PMD users. The panel noted that the objective of the regulations is to promote a “gracious sharing behaviour on public paths” while ensuring the safety of pedestrians.

Speaking to CNA in the aforementioned article, AMAP member Denis Koh said that the “idea of a ‘Code of Conduct’ for pedestrians was based on feedback gathered from focus group discussions”, and “it is not meant to be prescriptive”.

“On shared paths, we just request for pedestrians to keep to the left so others may pass. Riders are also encouraged to slow down and make their presence known before passing any pedestrian,” said the chairman of PMD enthusiast group Big Wheel Scooters Singapore, a member of the AMAP.

“Where there are separate pedestrian and cycling paths, pedestrians should avoid walking on the cycling path”, he added.

Additionally, another member of the panel, Gopinath Menon, a transport consultant, hinted that “there are also codes of conduct for active mobility device users on footpaths and shared paths”.

He went on to say, “It is also in the interests of all to have also a code of conduct for pedestrians on footpaths and shared paths to help enhance safety.”

Submission of the ‘Code of Conduct’ along with other recommendations came shortly after the passing of an elderly cyclist following a collision with an e-scooter

Mdm Ong Bee Eng, 65, was riding home on her bicycle at about 10.30pm in Bedok North on 21 September when she was knocked down by a 20-year-old on a personal mobility device (PMD). She suffered fractures to her ribs and collarbone and serious brain injuries, leaving her in a coma since the incident. She passed away four days after that (25 Sep).

The tragic death of Mdm Ong sparked outrage among Singaporeans. Case in point, while there were many petitions against PMDs set up months ago due to the escalation in cases of accidents involving reckless PMD riders, a “Banning of PMD/e-bike in Singapore” petition started by Zachary Tan six months ago quickly resurfaced and started getting signatures from members of the public immediately after Mdm Ong’s death was reported and subsequently updated into the petition.

At the time of writing, the petition has garnered more than 66,300 signatures, not far off from its target of 75,000.