Don't prioritise safety of PMD users over pedestrians

While it is true that road accidents are more likely to result in death, the fact remains that PMD users ride by choice but pedestrians have to walk.
While it is true that road accidents are more likely to result in death, the fact remains that PMD users ride by choice but pedestrians have to walk. PHOTO: ST FILE

Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min appears to be placing the safety of e-scooter riders over that of pedestrians in his response to MPs who were calling for a ban on personal mobility devices (PMDs) on footpaths and in void decks (Town councils can ban PMD use at void decks: Lam Pin Min, May 8).

While it is true that road accidents are more likely to result in death, the fact remains that PMD users ride by choice but pedestrians have to walk.

Motorists are also covered by compulsory insurance, and are easily identifiable in the event of an accident, while PMD users are not. If an accident occurs, even if the PMD user responsible is punished by law, who will bear the burden and cost of a comatose or paralysed pedestrian?

As both a motorist and a pedestrian, the problem is twofold. As a motorist, I am mindful of PMD users zooming out of nowhere onto a pedestrian crossing, while as a pedestrian, I am fearful of being run over by a PMD user when out in public.

Teo Hoon Seng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2019, with the headline 'Don't prioritise safety of PMD users over pedestrians'. Print Edition | Subscribe