Make PMD users dismount near bus stops

A PMD user riding along Holland Road.
A PMD user riding along Holland Road.PHOTO: ST FILE

I share Mr Ong Yao Min's sentiment that commuters at bus stops need to be protected against unsafe personal mobility device (PMD) use (PMD use: People at bus stops need protection, June 21).

I have seen several near misses as a result of dangerous cycling and PMD use through bus stops.

In the past year alone, I witnessed three incidents at a bus stop in New Upper Changi Road, a stone's throw away from APSN (Association for Persons with Special Needs) Katong School.

In the first, as a middle-aged man rose from his seat at the bus stop and moved forward to board an approaching bus, a speeding PMD rider, approaching from the opposite direction of road traffic, nearly knocked him down. The man shouted at the rider, who just zoomed away.

In the second, a secondary school girl was brushed by a speeding PMD rider, causing her to drop the books she was holding and nearly fall. After a few seconds of shock, she picked up her books with the help of a woman nearby, but the rider looked back and zoomed away.

In the third, about a month ago, an APSN Katong School student was nearly knocked down by a food delivery rider on a PMD. The rider stopped a few metres away and shouted at the student, perhaps for not looking back and giving the rider the right of way, before zooming away.

Commuters at bus stops instinctively look in the direction of approaching buses, with some suddenly moving forward when they spot their bus, putting them at risk of head-on crashes with cyclists and PMD users approaching from the opposite direction.

The Land Transport Authority should therefore consider making the following compulsory for cyclists and PMD users:

•Dismount at least 2m away from bus stops, and push their vehicles through the bus stops, or

•Ride very slowly through the bus stop, but only if they are approaching from the same direction as road traffic, as commuters would likely be looking in that direction.

And if all this still does not deter cyclists and PMD riders from speeding through the length of bus stops, then barriers restricting the use of PMDs, which do not affect the movement of wheelchairs and personal mobility aids, should be put up to force cyclists and PMD users to dismount.

Shaik Kadir

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2019, with the headline 'Make PMD users dismount near bus stops'. Print Edition | Subscribe