Parliament: More patrolling at 'hot spots' as accidents involving personal mobility devices soar

The Active Mobility Advisory Panel is considering measures such as reducing speed limits on footpaths and mandating the use of helmets, said Senior Minister of Transport Lam Pin Min. PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Accidents involving personal mobility devices (PMDs) on public paths have continued to rise, trebling to 128 cases last year.

In replies to MPs, Senior Minister of Transport Lam Pin Min said on Friday (May 18) that there were 19 such accidents in 2015, 42 in 2016 and 128 last year.

"This is quite a significant increase and we are quite concerned about it," Dr Lam said.

He said the Active Mobility Advisory Panel is considering measures such as reducing speed limits on footpaths, mandating the use of helmets, and requiring riders to dismount at traffic crossings, bus stops and other crowded areas.

He revealed that mobile cameras are being trialled "in identifying and reducing errant riding behaviours along public paths" in areas such as Ang Mo Kio, Yishun and Ubi.

"If this proves to be effective, I think we'll extend it to more places," he said.

Suggestions to make it compulsory for riders to buy insurance, as well as for a compensation framework for victims are also being studied.

Dr Lam said the first thing an accident victim should do right away, after an incident, was to make a police report.

He said a public education campaign to promote gracious behaviour on shared paths kicked off in February, and asked the public to be "patient" for results to show.

On its part, the Land Transport Authority is stepping up enforcement actions, patrolling "hot spots where there is a high volume of pedestrians and cyclists".

As for errant riders in private spaces such as shopping malls, Dr Lam said "this is really up to the owner of the public places to come up with measures to prevent illegal use of such mobility devices".

According to a 2015 survey conducted by an advisory panel, 55 per cent of respondents were willing to share footpaths with bicycles and non-motorised personal mobility devices, but only 34 per cent were willing to do the same for e-bicycles and other motorised personal mobility devices.

Following a spate of serious accidents, a similar survey was conducted last month, and findings are expected to be out by year end.

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