Man seen riding 4-wheel mobility scooter on busy Jalan Bukit Merah

The e-scooter caused a traffic jam on the busy road.
The e-scooter caused a traffic jam on the busy road.PHOTO FROM MR ALOYSIUS ONG
An elderly man was seen riding an electric scooter in heavy traffic on Jalan Bukit Merah on Dec 24, 2015.
An elderly man was seen riding an electric scooter in heavy traffic on Jalan Bukit Merah on Dec 24, 2015.PHOTO FROM MR ALOYSIUS ONG
The e-scooter rider cut into the lanes of cars without signalling, a witness said.
The e-scooter rider cut into the lanes of cars without signalling, a witness said.PHOTO FROM MR ALOYSIUS ONG
The e-scooter also filtered from the left to the right of the roads it turned into.
The e-scooter also filtered from the left to the right of the roads it turned into.PHOTO FROM MR ALOYSIUS ONG

SINGAPORE - An elderly man was seen riding a four-wheel mobility scooter in busy traffic on Jalan Bukit Merah, prompting questions about road safety.

A Stomp reader first alerted the citizen journalism website to the incident which happened last Thursday (Dec 24).

Mr Aloysius Ong, a student, was a passenger in his family car when they encountered the electric-powered scooter near Jalan Bukit Merah.

These vehicles are usually used as a mobility aid – helping the elderly or people with disabilities travel longer distances.

Traffic was heavy, and it was raining, Mr Ong told The Straits Times.

"He was hogging the whole road, and caused a traffic jam," said the 16-year-old.

Cars had to stop or trail behind the scooter, causing a jam. This continued for about 10 minutes, Mr Ong said.

After that Mr Ong's family's car went in a different direction.

Mr Ong estimated that the scooter was travelling at less than 20km per hour, and it appeared to be slower than an electric bicycle.

No one sounded their horn at the scooter, Mr Ong said, although one driver wound down his window to speak to the rider.

When shown photos of the mobility scooter on the road, Mr Denis Koh, chairman of Big Wheel Scooters Singapore, a community of electric scooter enthusiasts, said: "The uncle has clearly committed traffic offences."

Such scooters, which can travel at around 10kmh or less, are permitted on footpaths but not on roads.

The rider is wearing a "safety helmet" which is not approved for roads and the vehicle has no lights, Mr Koh pointed out.

 

Mr Koh is part of a panel headed by the Land Transport Authority that is reviewing rules and guidelines for personal mobility devices on roads and footpaths.

He emphasised that there is a "need to educate and keep instilling a good scooting etiquette" in all users.

Besides electric scooters, the rules for devices from electric bicycles to unicycles will be looked at.

The rules are expected to be announced in mid-2016.