Take measures to curb irresponsible e-scooter riding

The GrabWheels trial - launched last December at the National University of Singapore's Kent Ridge campus - is for the university and Grab to study the feasibility of using an e-scooter sharing service as an alternative way of getting around the camp
The GrabWheels trial - launched last December at the National University of Singapore's Kent Ridge campus - is for the university and Grab to study the feasibility of using an e-scooter sharing service as an alternative way of getting around the campus. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

That the National University of Singapore was alarmed enough by a spate of accidents involving shared e-scooters to put the trial service on hold (E-scooter trial at NUS suspended for a week, March 9) speaks to the concern over injuries caused by e-scooter riding.

E-scooters and other personal mobility devices (PMDs) are propelled by motors and are fast-moving. They are ridden mostly by younger people.

Despite the maximum speed limit of 10kmh under current rules, I have observed many less responsible users routinely speeding along walkways, HDB void decks, in crowded places like markets and food centres, and sometimes on the main roads too.

This poses a threat to pedestrians, motorists and the riders themselves.

With the forthcoming licensing of PMD-sharing services, more PMDs will be deployed all over the island, which will only mean more accidents and injuries.

Hence, to curb speeding and irresponsible riding, the authorities may wish to consider the following measures:

•Strictly limit the number of shared e-scooters deployed by licensees.

•Make it compulsory to install a tamper-proof speed-limit control device on all PMDs.

•Ban PMDs in crowded places, which was a measure called for by Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah in Parliament.

•Take effective enforcement actions with adequate penalties.

•Enhance public education on safe and responsible riding.

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2019, with the headline 'Take measures to curb irresponsible e-scooter riding'. Print Edition | Subscribe