SINGAPORE - A 24-year-old man riding an e-scooter was arrested on Thursday (April 12) after he allegedly knocked down an 11-year-old girl near Pasir Ris East Community Club, prompting Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Zainal Sapari on Friday to urge the Ministry of Transport (MOT) to review its position on mandatory third-party insurance for personal mobility device users again.
The police said they were alerted to a case of rash act causing hurt in Pasir Ris Drive 1 at 8.30pm.
The girl, who had been walking on the pavement, was conscious when taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Police investigations are ongoing.
On Thursday evening, the girl’s father, Mr Rahmat Nizam Samat, put up several Facebook posts about the incident, explaining that the girl was heading home alone after tuition at about 7.15pm when she was allegedly hit from the back.
Speaking to The Straits Times on Friday, Mr Rahmat said that five passers-by came to help his daughter, Ardini Nabila. She is the oldest among his three children.
One of the passers-by called his wife, and together, they rushed down to the scene immediately to find their daughter in tears, with a towel covering her mouth.
“When I took the towel away, I saw that her jaw was misaligned and her gums appeared to be pushed back,” said Mr Rahmat, a 38-year-old civil servant. “She was in a lot of pain.”
Doctors were able to realign her jaw and gums, but they found that she had two teeth missing, he said.
As she received several stitches to her gums, which had a tear, she has been unable to eat anything since the accident, only managing a few slices of watermelon so far, he said.
The girl also suffered abrasions on her head, face, elbow and knees, he added. She was given seven days of medical leave to recuperate at home.
“My daughter’s examinations are coming up, but she has to miss school. She’s worried that she can’t catch up,” he said. “We also worry for her. Such an accident should not have happened.”
In a Facebook post on Friday, Mr Zainal said that during the debate on the Active Mobility Bill in January last year, he and several other MPs had lobbied for compulsory third-party insurance, but MOT had decided against it.
"I hope MOT will review its position again," he said, as he wished the girl a speedy recovery.
He added that the insurance will "help ensure that due compensations can be made without significant financial strains to all the parties involved".
The incident is the latest in a series of cases that have seen pedestrians injured by e-scooters.
Last month, a 23-year-old man was charged with causing grievous hurt after knocking into a 45-year-old woman while riding his e-scooter in Bedok Reservoir Road.
The woman fell into a coma after the incident. She later went through an operation to remove part of her skull to relieve the swelling in her brain, and has since woken up.
Several users were also fined recently after they admitted to riding their e-scooters in a negligent manner.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed in Parliament in January that three accidents involving users of personal mobility devices occur on public roads and paths every week.
With the Government seeking to crack down on errant riders, it accepted the Active Mobility Advisory Panel’s proposal in February to make registration of the devices mandatory.
E-scooter users will have to register their devices from the second half of this year.