Policy on PMDs needs review

A man rides an electric scooter along Holland Road.
A man rides an electric scooter along Holland Road.PHOTO: ST FILE

Despite strong public feedback, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) continues to justify the use of personal mobility devices (PMDs) on pedestrian walkways as a means to achieve a car-lite society (Holistic approach taken to improve active mobility safety, May 20.)

A big unanswered question is: What percentage of existing PMD users previously used cars to commute?

Unless a majority of them actually gave up their cars for PMDs, I do not see that a car-lite society could be achieved to any meaningful degree.

By its efforts to reach out to educate 46,000 people in its Safe Riding Programme - it mentioned unlikely car users like foreign workers and students - LTA has subtly acknowledged its own policy weakness.

Neither should it indulge in wishful thinking that we are an ideal society where everyone participates in a culture of responsible and gracious behaviour, thereby making it safe to share pedestrian walkways with PMD users when the necessary infrastructure islandwide is still not in place.

Electric bicycles are already required to be used on roads, not pedestrian walkways. Electric PMDs, which can travel just as fast, should be required to do the same.

Users of electric PMDs or e-bikes can choose not to use their devices should they decide that the danger of sharing roads with vehicles is too high.

Pedestrians, on the other hand, who are currently forced to share their pathways with speeding PMDs and expose themselves to danger, do not have the luxury of this choice.

What would it take for a review of LTA's policy, which is premature and idealistic?

Steven Lo Chock Fei