Ban PMDs if infrastructure is not ready

A man riding an electric-bike at East Coast Park.
A man riding an electric-bike at East Coast Park.PHOTO: ST FILE

Errant motorists in Singapore are punished severely where they have been negligent. Harsh fines and imprisonment almost always follow where gross bodily harm has been caused to pedestrians.

In juxtaposition, the sentence handed out to the PMD rider who caused a 75-year-old man coming down a flight of stairs to suffer bleeding in the brain and a fractured cheekbone seems manifestly inadequate (Delivery rider on e-scooter injures man, July 17).

Pedestrians coming down from stairs onto walkways are at the mercy of speeding PMD riders that zoom by from blind spots. Just how are they to avoid a collision with these wheeled contraptions?

As with the onus being on motorists to avoid pedestrians even when they have right of way, so it is with PMDs and pedestrians.

Untrained, unlicensed and inexperienced multitasking PMD riders pay scant notice to this and are causing an increasing number of avoidable accidents across the island.

If the infrastructure is still not in place to fully support PMDs sharing common pathways with pedestrians, we should follow the examples of other countries to ban or restrict them.

This is a call that has been resoundingly repeated in The Straits Times Forum page and reflects the rising alarm that the issue has created.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2019, with the headline 'Ban PMDs if infrastructure is not ready'. Print Edition | Subscribe