Traffic laws should apply to PMD users too

ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

It is time for the authorities to amend the Road Traffic Act to include reckless personal mobility device (PMD) riders as well.

The Act stipulates that a motorist is required to stop his vehicle when an accident has occurred and results in an injury. Motorists found guilty of not complying may be fined up to $3,000, jailed up to a year, or both.

However, the Act does not apply to users of electric scooters, bicycles or PMDs.

Last Wednesday, the e-scooter rider who allegedly knocked down a woman in Bedok and fled the scene was arrested (Suspect in Bedok e-scooter accident arrested; March 16).

Isn't this accident considered a hit-and-run, and shouldn't the same penalty apply to the PMD rider?

The authorities must do more in curbing errant PMD riders.

Electric bicycles must be registered and made to display number plates, just like with e-scooters.

And while the Active Mobility Advisory Panel has mandated e-scooter registration from the second half of this year, it only mentioned that these riders will have to "paste identification stickers prominently on their devices" (E-scooter registration from 2nd half of 2018; March 8).

However, the panel failed to indicate whether these stickers will display registration numbers, so that members of the public can quickly take note of errant riders.

This will also make it easier for the police to track errant riders as they will not need to sieve through hours of footage on closed-circuit television cameras.

PMD riders should also be made to carry a licence similar to a driving licence. With this, users who ride haphazardly can be disqualified from riding, just like with errant motorists.

If nothing is done, hit-and-run PMD accidents involving pedestrians, especially the elderly, may become more common as the number of PMD users rises.

PMDs are also not insured, unlike motor vehicles, where hit-and-run victims can submit an insurance claim. The authorities should consider introducing mandatory insurance for PMD users.

In terms of the law, PMD users should be put on the same footing as motorists.

Cheng Choon Fei