Learn from other countries tackling PMD issues

A man rides an e-scooter along Marymount Road.
A man rides an e-scooter along Marymount Road.PHOTO: ST FILE

I was appalled to read how a three-year-old was hit on the forehead by an e-scooter on the fourth floor of nex shopping centre (E-scooter rider who hit toddler pleads guilty, June 28).

Mr Shaik Kadir, in his letter (Make PMD users dismount near bus stops, June 25), described several near-collisions he saw between pedestrians and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) and bicycles at just one bus stop.

Many accidents involving PMDs could have been prevented if enforcement was more rigorous.

France in May said it will ban e-scooters from pavements from September. In announcing the move, Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said e-scooters had brought "the law of the jungle" with them.

A month before that, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said measures are being taken "to protect pedestrians from e-scooters, especially older people and children". The city saw 284 people injured and five killed in accidents involving e-scooters in 2017.

Peru and Germany have already banned e-scooters from pedestrian paths and Barcelona, in Spain, banned PMDs from pedestrian paths after one killed a woman last August.

Similar accidents can be prevented here if the authorities take systematic and rigorous enforcement actions.

A transport policy cannot ignore pedestrians.

When Singapore considered building the MRT system in the 1980s, teams were sent to other countries to learn from them. The nation went through two years of public debate before adopting the new transport mode.

Before Singapore rushes to bring in thousands of PMDs, it should send a team to learn from other countries.

Esther Chin Siew Lan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2019, with the headline 'Learn from other countries tackling PMD issues'. Print Edition | Subscribe