Forum: Let e-scooters go on roads

A delivery rider on his e-scooter riding on the road on Nov 5, 2019. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The latest ban on e-scooters from footpaths is well considered and an empathetic response to the increasing concerns of citizens over their safety when co-sharing their right of way with personal mobility devices (E-scooters banned from footpaths amid rise in accidents, Nov 5).

Still, the livelihood of food delivery riders and the convenience of those who genuinely need the last-mile connectivity must be taken care of.

Concomitant with the new ban, the authorities could perhaps now remove the restriction of e-scooters on roads, giving them the same privileges as e-bikes until such time that dedicated pan-island cycling lanes and other safer infrastructure are in place. It is a practice common in many countries.

If implemented, this change definitely requires more responsibility, discipline and vigilance on the part of all road users and tweaks to the rules and regulations for e-scooter users.

Age limits need to be imposed, as do mandated contraption inspections, safety equipment, registration with licence plates and, definitely, insurance coverage too.

Paradoxically, increasing the speed limit a little may be beneficial to all road users as e-scooters would now have to contend with faster vehicular traffic and may need more oomph to accelerate out of harm's way.

Laboriously slow vehicles which impede traffic are also as much a hindrance as maniacally speeding ones are a menace.

The result is often impatience, which is a pre-eminent cause of accidents.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2019, with the headline Forum: Let e-scooters go on roads. Subscribe