The recent and sudden ban of e-scooters on footpaths has put a dent in Singapore's car-lite vision.
Another group of users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) - skateboards, hoverboards and unicycles - will also be affected by the footpath ban by the first quarter of next year.
The fact that the ban was imposed on e-scooters first means the safety problem faced by the public was due mainly to the e-scooter community rather than skateboard, hoverboard and unicycle users.
This other PMD community is quite small compared to the e-scooter community.
This is because it is more difficult to learn to ride skateboards, hoverboards and unicycles, and this has resulted in a smaller community.
Instead of a blanket ban on all PMDs, I would like to propose the following: Allow other forms of UL2272-compliant PMDs, except e-scooters, to continue using the footpaths. Monitor this community for six months and see if these riders cause incidents such as fires resulting from improper charging, reckless riding or accidents causing injuries. If the numbers are below a certain threshold, they can continue using the footpaths until the next review.
Such a move will encourage these PMD riders to use their devices responsibly.
So while a total PMD ban will take the car-lite vision backwards, a compromise results in a win-win situation for both riders and the Government.
I urge the Government to reconsider these factors before making a final decision on banning these types of PMDs from footpaths.
Terence Hon Yi Chen