Pavement etiquette for e-scooters and pedestrians

The reckless behaviour of e-scooter users has drawn the ire of many people.

There have been calls for speed limits as well as harsh penalties to deter such behaviour.

But not all e-scooter users behave in a reckless and inconsiderate manner.

Under the rules, they have no choice but to share the pavement with pedestrians.

They know to signal their approach but, often, pedestrians ignore them.

One group of pedestrians does this out of resentment. Another sizeable group, however, does not hear the signal at all, as their ears and eyes are glued onto a mobile device. They are literally unaware of their surroundings.

Pedestrians also have a responsibility for their own safety.

Some pavement etiquette should be in place.

For instance, slower pedestrians could keep to one side of the pavement, so that those who are more mobile can move ahead unobstructed.

Second, pedestrians should not be engrossed in their mobile devices.

This is to protect them from danger, which is not limited to just e-scooters.

The Government should also widen pavements or build designated e-scooter paths. This is a massive undertaking but one that is necessary for the welfare of citizens.

Serena Foo Choon Huay (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2018, with the headline 'Pavement etiquette for e-scooters and pedestrians'. Print Edition | Subscribe