Regulate flashing lights on personal mobility devices

I hope the authorities will look into regulating the use of flashing lights on personal mobility devices (PMDs), especially those that flash colours like red and blue, which are typically reserved for emergency vehicles.

For decades, road users and pedestrians have learnt to recognise the familiar flashing red and blue lights, mostly used by the police and ambulances responding to emergencies.

We have grown accustomed to slowing down and giving way when such lights appear, but even emergency vehicles follow a protocol when switching these lights on.

While I understand that PMD users hope that such lights will increase their safety on the roads, it has come down to who has the brightest lights.

Such counterproductive acts of vanity distract, confuse and endanger road users. They also unnecessarily alarm the public.

Drivers are also taught to look away from the headlights of oncoming cars when they are stationary to allow their eyes to get accustomed to the dimmer lighting at night so they may respond with better situational awareness.

But now, PMDs are coming from all directions.

It seems that the Land Transport Authority has regulated the fitting of decorative lamps on cars only to have the purpose of the rules defeated by other classifications of users.

Daniel Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2017, with the headline 'Regulate flashing lights on personal mobility devices'. Print Edition | Subscribe