Forum: E-scooters on roads not the answer

A man on e-scooter riding on a footpath at Chinatown, on Nov 5, 2019.
A man on e-scooter riding on a footpath at Chinatown, on Nov 5, 2019.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Dr Yik Keng Yeong's suggestion to allow e-scooters on roads (Let e-scooters go on roads, Nov 6) is not a feasible option.

Allowing e-scooters on roads will only shift the risks and hazards caused by personal mobility devices (PMDs) from footpaths to roads, thereby creating a new set of problems.

As a motorist, I often encounter cyclists who weave in and out of traffic and onto pedestrian crossings, ignoring traffic lights and rules.

Like cyclists, many PMD users may not be familiar with road regulations - unlike motorists who have to pass tests to drive on the road. Of course, some of them simply choose to ignore road regulations.

So, allowing e-scooters on roads will only compound existing problems and pose risks to the road users and riders themselves.

The bottom line is that Singapore's infrastructure and population are not ready for the proliferation of e-scooters.

The latest move by the authorities to ban e-scooters on footpaths is understandable, given the number of accidents caused by reckless PMD riders, whose behaviour has clearly not improved despite warnings and education prior to the ban.

Food delivery riders are among those most affected by the ban, but with strict enforcement beginning only next year, the onus is on food delivery companies to find a solution by the year end - be it carrying out deliveries via bicycles, motorcycles or public transport.

There are other means of carrying out deliveries and people can learn to live with a longer wait for their food, but the impact on the families of victims who have lost their lives is irreversible.

Teo Leng Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2019, with the headline 'E-scooters on roads not the answer'. Print Edition | Subscribe