Step up protection for pedestrians against PMDs

It is disturbing to read about two separate accidents involving e-scooters and children occurring within the same day (2 children hurt in separate e-scooter incidents; April 14).

Just last month, a 45-year-old woman fell into a coma after being hit by an e-scooter.

As a pedestrian, I find that it is becoming unsafe for me if I do not turn around and look back every now and then because there are personal mobility device (PMD) riders who stray away from their paths without warning.

It was alarming to hear the Transport Minister's revelation in Parliament in January that about three accidents involving users of PMDs occur on public roads and paths every week.

Enforcement action should be stepped up before more pedestrians get hurt.

Although there are dedicated footpaths in many Housing Board estates, some of these riders still think they have priority over pedestrians, and have the mindset that pedestrians must give way to them. This causes them to not slow down or stop while negotiating around pedestrians.

The majority of riders abide by the rules. It is the reckless and irresponsible minority who frighten children, the frail and the elderly into giving way to them. The authorities should come down hard on these offenders.

Although there are dedicated footpaths in many Housing Board estates, some of these riders still think they have priority over pedestrians, and have the mindset that pedestrians must give way to them. This causes them to not slow down or stop while negotiating around pedestrians.

Perhaps closed-circuit television cameras could be installed at strategic locations.

As the licensing of these devices is still pending, pedestrians have no avenue to seek compensation, especially if they are involved in hit-and-run accidents.

In any case, no amount of compensation can bring an injured or dead victim back to his original self.

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2018, with the headline 'Step up protection for pedestrians against PMDs'. Print Edition | Subscribe