Forum: Make headlights a must for PMDs

A GrabFood rider on a power-assisted bicycle in Toa Payoh central, on Dec 1, 2019.
A GrabFood rider on a power-assisted bicycle in Toa Payoh central, on Dec 1, 2019.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

The report on the rising number of accidents involving food delivery riders does not surprise me (Delivery riders seem to be getting into more accidents, ST poll finds, Dec 29, 2019).

It was reported that a number of measures to arrest the trend have been adopted by food delivery companies. However, one simple measure could be for the authorities to ban the sale of e-scooters, e-bicycles and bicycles that do not have lights fixed permanently to their fronts.

I noticed that in my neighbourhood, only one in 10 e-scooters, e-bicycles or bicycles have front lights switched on.

The danger of this was evident recently at night when I witnessed a near collision near an HDB carpark.

A food delivery rider speeding on an e-bicycle screeched to a halt just short of hitting a car that had turned right from the carpark exit.

Without front lights on the e-bicycle, in the shadows of a street with multiple light sources from signboards and shops, the speeding e-bicycle was not visible to the car driver.

Traffic regulations on front lights are not enough without enforcement. Ensuring that personal mobility devices (PMDs) such as e-scooters, e-bicycles and bicycles have headlights attached permanently would be more effective.

Amy Loh Chee Seen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2020, with the headline 'Make headlights a must for PMDs'. Print Edition | Subscribe