Parliament: About three accidents a week involving personal mobility device users

A personal mobility device user seen travelling alongside cars, vans and pickups in Geylang on Jan 3, 2018. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

SINGAPORE - Every week, about three accidents involving users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) occur on public roads and paths.

The incidence has prompted Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan to ask an expert panel to review the rules and regulations of PMD use, particularly on the need for users to use helmets and have third-party insurance as well as the registration of e-scooters.

However, he did not think it was necessary to register all e-scooters, he added. "(For) those which are power-assisted and therefore, potentially, can incur greater harm, there may be a case for some sort of registration.''

Mr Khaw made these points in Parliament on Monday (Jan 8), when he also urged victims in accidents involving PMDs to make a police report.

"If the offender is convicted in court (of) committing an offence, the court will consider if compensation to the victim should be paid. The victim can also seek compensation through civil lawsuits, mediation or private settlement," he added.

The minister was replying to questions by MPs like Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC)on PMD accidents.

In all, about 110 accidents took place between January and September last year, the first time these figures were being released.

Of these, about 30 were on public paths involving pedestrians and PMD users.

The rest took place at public road junctions when PMD riders were crossing the road, and on roads when they were illegally riding parallel to vehicle traffic.

The prevalence of some of these riders in travelling on public roads and paths has led Mr Khaw to ask the Active Mobility Advisory Panel to review the current code of conduct and regulations on the use of PMDs.

The panel, chaired by Parliamentary Secretary Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, had earlier drawn up a set of guidelines on PMDs and these were incorporated into the Active Mobility Act that Parliament passed in January last year.

The Act will take effect early this year (2018).

Mr Khaw said: "We have now almost a year of experience... We should see what other rules we should introduce or what other rules be tweaked or toughened."

He told the House that it will be compulsory for all cyclists and PMD users caught riding recklessly to attend a safe riding programme designed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The programme will also be introduced in schools, foreign worker dormitories and community centres, he added.

"The LTA will step up efforts to prevent accidents through enforcement and education," he said.

Last year, LTA issued more than 1,700 advisories to cyclists and PMD users for unsafe riding behaviour.

In seven days' time (Jan 15), first-time offenders can be fined $300 or $500 depending on the type of public road they were riding on. They must appear in court if they were found riding on expressways.

Mr Khaw also said, in a written parliamentary reply to Mr Melvin Yong (Tanjong Pagar GRC), that the LTA has intensified its efforts to raise awareness of the danger of riding PMDs on public roads. These include putting up more than 500 warning signs in hot spots telling riders to stay off the road.

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