Prosecutor seeks probation for pizza delivery rider who sped into pedestrian on footpath

Telepod and Neuron’s e-scooters impounded at Esplanade Drive on 7 February 2019 (Source: LTA).

The prosecution has sought probation instead of a fine, following the guilty plea of an 18-year-old part-time pizza delivery rider to one charge of a negligent act endangering the personal safety of others on Tue (12 Nov).

According to court documents, Skye Lee Shi Jia committed the negligent act whilst riding an e-scooter over the speed limit near Block 137, Teck Whye Lane during a delivery, causing him to crash into Toh Meng Wan, a 55-year-old pedestrian.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Foo Shi Hao sought a suitability report for probation, and highlighted Lee’s young age — 16-years-old — at the time the offence was committed as a possible mitigating factor in sentencing.

Lee, who was riding his e-scooter beyond the maximum speed limit of 15kmh, reportedly did not slow down as he approached the junction despite not having a clear view of the road ahead.

Consequently, he had failed to brake in time, and ran into Madam Toh as a result. Madam Toh fell and bled. Lee applied pressure to the wound in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

She was then taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital by an ambulance with a 4cm-long laceration on her scalp and bruises over her arm, ankle and head. She received three stitches and was given eight days’ hospitalisation leave.

Lee paid her medical costs of S$488 in full as restitution.

The court also heard that Lee’s e-scooter was non-compliant, as it was 740mm wide, which surpassed the width limit of 700mm stated in the Active Mobility Regulations 2018.

Lee’s sentencing is scheduled to take place on 10 Dec.

Ban on use of e-scooters on footpaths a means of “returning footpath safety to pre-PMD days”: Transport Minister

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan earlier said that the ban against the use of e-scooters on footpaths is a means of “returning footpath safety to pre-PMD days”.

In a Facebook post last Fri evening (8 Nov), Khaw said that “Singaporeans have largely welcomed the decision to prohibit e-scooters from footpaths”, particularly in light of the number of accidents traced back to the use of such PMDs on footpaths which led to the ban.

“Let’s go for zero accidents and zero casualty in Singapore: whether roads or public paths,” he urged.

He acknowledged, however, that the ban will have an adverse impact on the livelihood of food delivery riders who rely on e-scooters to assist them in their mobility during deliveries.

“As soon as the decision was taken, we had been in consultation with the food delivery companies: GrabFood, Deliveroo and Foodpanda.

“The prohibition would impact their riders and as responsible employers, they were keen to help them transit, either to alternative modes of mobility or to other jobs,” said Khaw.

Khaw noted that the Land Transport Authority has offered an e-scooter Trade-in Grant (eTG) “to match the companies assistance to their riders who wish to stay on in this job”, which he said has been “well received by” the three companies.

“They will now work out the implementation details including bulk purchase of bicycles and e-bicycles to bring down the cost. The riders can then continue to work in this field,” he added.

In the meantime, Khaw said that the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) “will provide career coaching services to help the other riders who wish to switch to other jobs”.

“Meanwhile, I know fellow MPs will be assisting, through ComCare, those riders who may face temporary financial difficulties,” he assured.

Grab announced on its website that GrabFood delivery riders will qualify for a grant to trade in their electric scooters for an alternative mobility device if they have made at least one trip between 9 Oct and 7 Nov.

Riders can apply for the grant on the Grab website, and the applications will be submitted to the LTA at the end of each day. Riders will be informed of their applications are successful after about two days.

Once approved, riders can purchase a new mobility device – either an e-bike or a bicycle – before trading in their e-scooters and receiving the reimbursement within three days.

The scheme starts on Fri (15 Nov).

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