Ways to enhance safety among PMD riders

The move would mean PMD riders would have to dismount and push their devices at the void decks in the majority of the 10,000 HDB blocks here. The ban does not apply to personal mobility aids, such as motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
The move would mean PMD riders would have to dismount and push their devices at the void decks in the majority of the 10,000 HDB blocks here. The ban does not apply to personal mobility aids, such as motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

I am grateful to the MPs who spoke up on the personal mobility device (PMD) debate, as well as to the authorities for banning PMDs at void decks and common corridors of Housing Board blocks (Ban on PMDs at void decks takes effect from Sept, Aug 8).

I would like to put forward some additional suggestions.

First, make riding lessons and riding tests compulsory for PMD riders.

This process will educate a person to become a responsible rider and make him understand the impact of his actions on others around him.

The lessons are important because a common reason cited by riders who have collided with pedestrians was that they could not stop their e-scooter in time.

A driver who can't stop a car in time will fail a driving test and not be allowed to drive and injure others. The same principle should apply to PMD riders.

Second, install railings in the middle of pedestrian paths.

Having no space for PMDs on the road is no justification for squeezing them with pedestrians.

Separating PMDs from pedestrians will immediately raise the safety level for all.

If railings were placed on 1m-wide paths, the narrower space would force riders to focus on riding instead of looking down at their mobile phones.

Painting the PMD paths a bright green will enable riders to find these dedicated paths.

Third, have uniformed enforcement officers patrol areas within a 500m radius of MRT stations.

The National Environment Agency has made use of enforcement officers to patrol and clamp down on indiscriminate smoking, which has been very effective and is a model well worth emulating.

The sight of a uniformed officer will deter PMD riders from speeding on paths and riding into MRT stations.

Esther Chin Siew Lan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2019, with the headline 'Ways to enhance safety among PMD riders'. Print Edition | Subscribe