Mobility scooter rider crashes into glass door at interchange

VIDEO: SBST
Screen grabs of a video posted on SBS Transit's Facebook page show the rider hitting one of a pair of glass doors at Toa Payoh bus interchange before they can fully open. She then appears to wheel the scooter away.
Screen grabs of a video posted on SBS Transit's Facebook page show the rider hitting one of a pair of glass doors at Toa Payoh bus interchange before they can fully open. She then appears to wheel the scooter away.PHOTOS: SBS TRANSIT/FACEBOOK
Screen grabs of a video posted on SBS Transit's Facebook page show the rider hitting one of a pair of glass doors at Toa Payoh bus interchange before they can fully open. She then appears to wheel the scooter away.
Screen grabs of a video posted on SBS Transit's Facebook page show the rider hitting one of a pair of glass doors at Toa Payoh bus interchange before they can fully open. She then appears to wheel the scooter away.PHOTOS: SBS TRANSIT/FACEBOOK
Screen grabs of a video posted on SBS Transit's Facebook page show the rider hitting one of a pair of glass doors at Toa Payoh bus interchange before they can fully open. She then appears to wheel the scooter away.
Screen grabs of a video posted on SBS Transit's Facebook page show the rider hitting one of a pair of glass doors at Toa Payoh bus interchange before they can fully open. She then appears to wheel the scooter away.PHOTOS: SBS TRANSIT/FACEBOOK
Screen grabs of a video posted on SBS Transit's Facebook page show the rider hitting one of a pair of glass doors at Toa Payoh bus interchange before they can fully open. She then appears to wheel the scooter away.
Screen grabs of a video posted on SBS Transit's Facebook page show the rider hitting one of a pair of glass doors at Toa Payoh bus interchange before they can fully open. She then appears to wheel the scooter away.PHOTOS: SBS TRANSIT/FACEBOOK

Woman leaves after glass shatters; incident reignites safety concerns

A woman on a personal mobility aid (PMA) crashed into a sliding glass door at Toa Payoh bus interchange yesterday morning, causing it to shatter and once again raising questions on their use in public places.

In a video posted on SBS Transit's Facebook page, the woman on a mobility scooter is seen hitting one of a pair of sliding glass doors before they can fully open as she is passing through the doorway.

The front basket attached to her mobility scooter falls off from the impact. She gets off the mobility scooter and picks up the basket before appearing to wheel the device away.

Said SBS Transit in the post: "We would like to remind users of mobility devices to please be careful when moving around in enclosed spaces. We are thankful that no one was injured in this incident."

The incident occurred at 7.35am, said SBS Transit corporate communications senior vice-president Tammy Tan. The glass shattered on impact and the woman left the scene immediately, she revealed.

"The area was cordoned off and has since been cleared of the glass debris. No one was injured and bus operations were unaffected," she said, adding that a police report had been made.

BUS OPERATIONS NOT AFFECTED

The area was cordoned off and has since been cleared of the glass debris. No one was injured and bus operations were unaffected.

MS TAMMY TAN, SBS Transit's corporate communications senior vice-president, on yesterday morning's incident.

PMAs refer to manual non-motorised wheelchairs, motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters, which are devices designed to carry people with walking difficulties. They cannot be used on the road.

There are no restrictions on the maximum weight or width of the devices, but they must not have a maximum speed exceeding 10kmh.

The penalty for riding a non-compliant PMA on a public path is a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a jail term of up to three months. Those riding a PMA on the road may be fined up to $2,000 and/or jailed for up to three months. Repeat offenders may face higher court fines or jail terms.

Personal mobility devices (PMDs) have also been in the headlines recently, with 228 reported accidents involving PMDs on public paths in 2017 and last year.

Safety concerns have resulted in rules that cap their weight and speed. They cannot be heavier than 20kg or measure wider than 70cm, and must have a speed cap of 25kmh before they can be used on public paths.

The penalties for flouting PMD rules are the same as those for non-compliant PMAs.

But there have been recent calls for Singapore to ban them, in the light of moves taken by other countries.

 

Germany and France have decided to ban e-scooters from pavements. And in Britain, the only place to ride them is on private property, after getting the owner's permission.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min also announced recently that town councils are discussing with the Government the possibility of banning PMDs and bicycles from accident-prone zones within housing estates.

Last week, the Land Transport Authority delayed a decision on which companies can operate shared PMDs in Singapore, in the light of safety concerns.

Last month, PMD Retailers Association of Singapore president Wilson Seng said a way to make PMD use safer for all is to make it compulsory for riders to attend a safety course.

Correction note: This article has been updated for clarity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 02, 2019, with the headline 'Mobility scooter rider crashes into glass door at interchange'. Print Edition | Subscribe