Lighter, slower e-scooters don't mean fewer accidents

The Land Transport Authority has set some rules for e-scooters, including a 20kg maximum unladen weight, 700mm maximum width and 25kmh maximum device speed.

It seems to think that heavier and faster e-scooters will cause more accidents and be ridden more recklessly, while lighter and slower ones will not.

However, accidents and reckless riding will happen no matter what the weight and speed. It all boils down to the mentality of the riders and the skills they have.

The rise in accidents last year is likely due to the fact that e-scooters are a fairly new form of transport here and many riders are keen to "test out" the capabilities of the devices.

I believe the thrill of speeding will eventually wear off and people will develop the correct riding attitude.

This was the situation in the late 1980s, when boys rode recklessly on stunt bicycles and skateboards. Today, we have dedicated skate parks and these riders have even gone on to represent Singapore in competitions.

If the LTA proceeds with the e-scooter registration, I hope it can fine-tune the speed/weight limit, as larger and more powerful machines are needed by riders who make deliveries, who are bigger in size and who go off-road or ride on slopes.

Shah Pakri

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2018, with the headline 'Lighter, slower e-scooters don't mean fewer accidents'. Print Edition | Subscribe