Holistic approach taken to improve active mobility safety

A man riding an e-scooter.
A man riding an e-scooter.PHOTO: ST FILE

We refer to the Forum letters expressing safety concerns about the behaviour of irresponsible personal mobility device (PMD) users (Pressing questions on PMDs need to be answered, by Dr Ho Ting Fei; and Little need for PMDs in S'pore, by Dr Yik Keng Yeong; both published on May 14).

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will not hesitate to act against PMD users who threaten public safety.

The Active Mobility Act establishes clear rules on speed limits and device specifications, and empowers us to take enforcement action.

Since the introduction of the Act in May last year, the LTA has recorded more than 3,700 active mobility offences.

Surveillance and enforcement operations are carried out regularly across about 600 locations islandwide to target and catch errant riders.

Reports on errant riding by members of the public are taken into account during our enforcement deployments.

From July, all e-scooter owners must register their devices with LTA. Those found riding unregistered devices on public paths could be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed for a term of six months.

The growing popularity of PMDs in Singapore and other countries shows the role they can play in the shift towards greener and more car-lite societies.

Banning them on paths is not the solution as this will force them onto our roads. Instead, we are taking a more holistic approach to improve active mobility safety.

Besides strict enforcement, we are intensifying public education efforts and collaborations with interest groups and grassroots organisations.

For example, we work with schools to educate students on responsible riding practices.

We collaborate with food delivery companies and foreign worker dormitories to extend our Safe Riding Programme to them. More than 46,000 people have taken part in the programme.

Active mobility infrastructure is being expanded across Singapore, where practicable, to make it easier and safer for people to reach transport nodes and neighbourhood amenities. All HDB towns will progressively have cycling networks by 2030.

We will not let up on our efforts to enhance public safety. But, at the same time, we need the public's support to nurture this culture of responsible, gracious and safe path sharing and help to weed out irresponsible behaviour.

Together, we can realise the benefits of active mobility in our daily commute, be it through walking, cycling or the use of PMDs.

Kenneth Wong

Director, Active Mobility

Land Transport Authority

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2019, with the headline 'Holistic approach taken to improve active mobility safety'. Print Edition | Subscribe