Bicycles, e-scooters a big danger on pavements

As someone who comes back to Singapore several times a year to visit my wife's family and our daughter, who has chosen to work here, I am always happy to see that courtesy is well and alive.

You can see it on the MRT or buses. People politely wait for passengers to disembark before boarding, bus drivers wait for passengers with disabilities, and youngsters readily vacate their seats for the elderly.

This is something Singapore can be really proud of.

Having been posted to Shanghai for the past three years, I have been subjected daily to users of bicycles, electric scooters (e-scooters) and scooters sneaking up aggressively behind me and trying to run me over (while honking at the last moment and giving me a shock).

Unfortunately, this nasty trend seems to have spread to the pavements in the HDB heartland.

Gone are the considerate riders from the 1990s who would go onto the grass verge to pass pedestrians and would slow down so as not to injure anyone.

In this one area of daily life, courtesy is disappearing.

Just the other day, my wife was almost run over by a woman on a bicycle while trying to board a bus.

During our Christmas visit, I saw teenagers speeding dangerously on their bikes through pedestrian traffic in Bedok Central, despite posters warning about $5,000 fines.

All I got for pointing out the obvious to the teenagers were their swearing and the shaking of heads by older Singaporeans who were not amused by their behaviour.

Why post information about fines when there is no one to enforce them?

And what about these e-scooters? Even in Shanghai, they are required to be registered with the police.

Here, they create a dangerous situation as there are no designated paths for them. Riders of e-scooters should be required to have a licence to operate these vehicles and these should be strictly used on the roads, not on pavements.

People modify them and a few go as fast as conventional road traffic. I hope the authorities will act before someone becomes crippled or dies from injuries.

Hence, I was very impressed with Dr George Wong Seow Choon's idea about a bicycle registration system using IC numbers for identification ("'Too difficult to do' should not be reason to dismiss idea"; Feb 13). It is simple and brilliant.

The licensing of e-scooters should also be looked into. I doubt we want the same chaos on pavements here as there is in China.

Stan Voyda