Why no protection at void decks?

PMD users often pass pedestrians in near-silence, which is dangerous. There should be a law requiring them to signal to pedestrians that they are approaching, and they should be made to take the same tests as motorists.
PMD users often pass pedestrians in near-silence, which is dangerous. There should be a law requiring them to signal to pedestrians that they are approaching, and they should be made to take the same tests as motorists. PHOTO: ST FILE

I was alarmed to learn that the Active Mobility Act governing the use of personal mobility devices (PMDs) and bicycles does not include lift lobbies and void decks because they are "not critical for connectivity" (Town councils can ban PMD use at void decks: Lam Pin Min, May 8).

Pedestrians have been walking from home to void deck to the bus stop or MRT stations for decades. The idea that the void deck is not part of connectivity is flawed.

Also, void decks have blind spots, which put PMD users and pedestrians at risk. Some of the most vulnerable groups of people - such as the elderly, mothers with babies, and young children going to childcare centres - spend a lot of their time at void decks. Why are they being left exposed to PMD users?

PMD users often pass pedestrians in near-silence, which is dangerous, there should be a law requiring them to signal to pedestrians that they are approaching, and they should be made to take the same tests as motorists.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said pedestrians should be alert to the presence of PMD users.

Yet even if a 65-year-old were to notice a PMD user approaching, is he physically capable of jumping quickly enough to the side to avoid being hit?

Rules have to be put in place to ensure the safety of pedestrians, who have the right to use footpaths and void decks safely.

Esther Chin Siew Lan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2019, with the headline 'Why no protection at void decks?'. Print Edition | Subscribe