Safety risk if the elderly can't control bikes with throttles

I support the continued ban of e-bikes, or power-assisted bicycles, with throttles ("Older e-bike users still hit by throttle ban"; last Saturday).

Recently, I saw an elderly man attempting to cross a pedestrian junction on his illegally modified e-bike.

When the pedestrian lightturned green, he turned up the throttle and was the first to cross the junction.

He seemed oblivious to the pedestrians crossing from the opposite side.

I also noticed that the elderly cyclist did not seem to be completely at ease or in fullcontrol of his e-bike when the throttle was first turned on, which caused the e-bike to lunge forward.

It is true that e-bikes could beof significant convenience for elderly people who are lessmobile.

However, due to slowerreflexes with age, elderly people are less likely to be able to force their e-bikes to a stop, if needed,to avoid a collision, thusincreasing the risk of a dangerous collision with a pedestrian.

We must also be mindful of the fact that these elderly riders tendto live in housing estatesinhabited by many other elderly people.

Until dedicated bicycle lanes are implemented throughout Singapore, the ban on e-bikes with throttles should remain.

At the same time, I hope that motorised wheelchairs can be made more accessible to theelderly who require them.

Chan Yeow Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2016, with the headline 'Safety risk if the elderly can't control bikes with throttles'. Print Edition | Subscribe