Both road users and pedestrians need to be gracious

An e-scooter is seen near Paya Lebar MRT station.
An e-scooter is seen near Paya Lebar MRT station. ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY

I fully understand Mr Steven Lo Chock Fei's frustration over personal mobility device (PMD) users sharing a common path with pedestrians (Policy on PMDs needs review, The Straits Times Online, May 24).

He is right to point out that unless the majority of PMD riders gave up their cars for these alternative means of transport, it would be challenging to achieve a car-lite society in the near future.

However, while waiting for the necessary infrastructure and policies to encourage and achieve this car-lite society, it is my hope that we can and should be a nation where everyone participates in a culture of responsible behaviour.

In fact, I believe that all road users - drivers, cyclists, PMD users and, let us not forget, pedestrians - have the capacity to extend graciousness to others.

By taking ownership and responsibility, we create a gracious, sharing and accommodating society with the realities we have now.

And we pave the way and make it easier for the authorities to develop a holistic approach to roads and pathways.

The Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) has worked and continues to work with the authorities - such as the Traffic Police, the Singapore Road Safety Council and the Land Transport Authority - to inculcate not just safety and courtesy but also graciousness on the roads.

We recognise that education is the way to cultivate such values in people, including among our very young.

This is why SKM last Saturday held its kindness carnival at the Road Safety Community Park.

Titled Kindness Is A Two-Way Street, the event not only gave families and people of all ages tips and takeaway reminders, but also allowed them to participate in hourly road circuit challenges to learn and experience the road to kindness.

Let us do some self-reflection and extend graciousness to others; I firmly believe that other road users will reciprocate with kindness. Every one of us has a responsibility towards building a nation of kindness.

William Wan (Dr)

General Secretary

Singapore Kindness Movement

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2019, with the headline 'Both road users and pedestrians need to be gracious'. Print Edition | Subscribe