Clip of e-scooter user overtaking bus sparks safety concerns

The video shows an e-scooter user riding on the left-most lane of a three-lane road. At one point, he veered past a bus, nipping in ahead of a taxi, before cutting back close in front of the bus. The incident was recorded on a phone camera in a car f
The video shows an e-scooter user riding on the left-most lane of a three-lane road. At one point, he veered past a bus, nipping in ahead of a taxi, before cutting back close in front of the bus. The incident was recorded on a phone camera in a car following the e-scooter.SCREENGRAB: STOMP
The video shows an e-scooter user riding on the left-most lane of a three-lane road. At one point, he veered past a bus, nipping in ahead of a taxi, before cutting back close in front of the bus. The incident was recorded on a phone camera in a car f
The video shows an e-scooter user riding on the left-most lane of a three-lane road. At one point, he veered past a bus, nipping in ahead of a taxi, before cutting back close in front of the bus. The incident was recorded on a phone camera in a car following the e-scooter.SCREENGRAB: STOMP

A video of a man on an electric scooter overtaking a bus in Mandai Road has sparked safety concerns over the use of such personal mobility devices.

The minute-long clip shows the e-scooter user wearing a helmet and riding on the left-most lane of the three-lane road. At one point, he veered past a bus, nipping in ahead of a taxi, before cutting back close in front of the bus.

The incident was recorded on a phone camera in a car following the e-scooter, and uploaded on citizen journalism site Stomp on Thursday.

The car passenger who took the video said the incident happened on Thursday at about 8am.

"I think it is too dangerous for him to ride his e-scooter in this way and all the vehicles had to slow down for him," said the man, who did not want to be named.

According to what was said in the video, the e-scooter was travelling at at least 60kmh. The passenger started taking the video after the e-scooter user overtook another vehicle travelling at 50kmh, he said.

Mr Denis Koh, chairman of Big Wheel Scooters Singapore, a community of scooter enthusiasts, said the e-scooter rider tested all limits in doing what he did.

"He wobbled while overtaking. The wheels are not as big as a motorbike's or bicycle's, so it's difficult and dangerous to make such manoeuvres at that speed," he said.

He added that a standard e-scooter would be able to travel at about 30kmh, and the one in question was likely to have been modified illegally. The rider was also breaking the law by using it on the road.

"The Land Transport Authority will investigate the use of such personal mobility devices on the road," said a spokesman.

Mr Koh is part of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel, which proposed guidelines earlier this year, including a speed limit of 15kmh on pavements and the use of lights on such vehicles. These rules are set to become law by the year end.

Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Zainal Sapari said the rules should address illegal modification of personal mobility devices that also include e-bikes. "We should come down hard on shops that offer illegal modification services," he said.

 

One of his residents, housewife Ang Liu Kiow, 53, was a victim in an accident that allegedly involved an e-scooter in Pasir Ris last Saturday.

She underwent two brain operations at Changi General Hospital and remains unconscious there.A 17-year-old has been arrested in connection with the accident, on suspicion of causing grievous hurt.

Mr Ang Hin Kee, an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC and vice-chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, said that even with rules in place, there will be concerns over safety if riders are irresponsible.

"While there are riders who endanger themselves and others, there are riders who dismount at traffic lights and pay attention to safety," he added.

Income, the NTUC insurance cooperative, said about 400 people have been insured against medical expenses and personal liabilities due to accidents while riding a bicycle or a personal mobility device since it launched a plan for this purpose in April. It has received fewer than 10 claims for medical expenses so far.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2016, with the headline 'Clip of e-scooter user overtaking bus sparks safety concerns'. Print Edition | Subscribe