The increasing number of accidents involving pedestrians and e-scooter riders is surely a warning sign that the current measures to regulate the use of personal mobility devices (PMDs) on pedestrian walkways are insufficient.
I am writing to appeal to the authorities to ban all PMDs that are power-assisted from pedestrian walkways, park connectors and footpaths.
Personal mobility aids such as motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters should still be allowed as these are favoured by the elderly who are unable to walk long distances.
Vigilance alone cannot protect pedestrians. PMDs approach with such speed and stealth that it is impossible for pedestrians to see them coming, especially if they approach from the back or from blind spots. I have been shocked many times by practically soundless PMDs that have whizzed past me at breakneck speeds.
It is stressful for pedestrians to have to constantly fear for their safety even as they walk on paths designated for them.
The intention of introducing PMDs as a last-mile connection to supplement the public transport system is good.
Sadly, however, not all PMD users act in the best interest of the public.
Rules, such as the imposing of speed limits, will work only if users obey them.
Enforcement, such as mandating the registration of PMDs, is reactive and too late to prevent accidents from happening. It only serves to trace errant PMD users.
Education of PMD users will take a long time.
Let us not wait till there are more deaths and serious injuries before more forceful steps are taken.
Banning just the powered PMDs is a reasonable compromise.
Lau Pei Yng (Ms)