New laws on PMDs a step in right direction

The Government should be lauded for its decision to enforce the Active Mobility Act and ensure a more harmonious balance between cyclists and pedestrians (Law to curb reckless use of mobility devices kicks in; May 2).

Recent news highlighting the plight of pedestrians who were injured as a result of the actions of errant personal mobility device (PMD) users highlights the need to enforce stricter laws.

Balancing the rights of cyclists and pedestrians is nothing new.

In Britain, urgent calls have been made to introduce new road laws for cyclists. These have also been tabled for parliamentary debates.

Singapore has made the right move in this respect. The comprehensive Act would be an effective model for other jurisdictions too.

Last year, an elderly man died as a result of a hit-and-run incident involving an e-scooter (Suspect nabbed for e-bike hit-and-run that killed man, 78; Aug 23, 2017).

That incident might have turned out differently had the e-scooter user stopped and rendered assistance to the elderly man.

The law that has now come into force places the onus on the PMD user to render assistance should such an incident occur. Otherwise, the user faces a stiff penalty.

With the proliferation of bike-sharing and the increasing use of PMDs, the law has to keep up to protect the interests of both road users and pedestrians.

This Act is a step in the right direction.

Jason Chua Dong Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2018, with the headline 'New laws on PMDs a step in right direction'. Print Edition | Subscribe