One of the difficulties faced by Mr Rajanayagam Sarvananthan as an active mobility patrol (AMP) volunteer was convincing people of his authority.
The deputy project director said although about 80 per cent to 90 per cent of errant cyclists or riders of personal mobility devices listened to him when he stopped them, a minority did not believe he had the power to stop them, much less tell them what they should do.
However, along with 24 others, he is now a volunteer public path warden.
This means he will receive a card that shows him to be a representative of the Land Transport Authority (LTA), along with the power to issue advisories to errant riders and take down their particulars. Mr Sarvananthan, who has been with the Yuhua AMP team since August 2016, can also take videos and photos of the incident scene, and send these details to LTA.
LTA will then assess the details and may take action against offenders. Both volunteer public path wardens and AMP volunteers cannot carry out enforcement actions.
The 25 newly empowered individuals are the first of the more than 800 AMP volunteers from the 47 AMP teams around the island to receive such authority. LTA plans to train more AMP volunteers to become volunteer public path wardens.
Mr Sarvananthan, 52, said: "Previously some people wouldn't listen to us. Now these new cards from LTA help us to communicate effectively with the public. It helps us to perform our role even better."
He was one of the more than 200 AMP volunteers honoured on Saturday (July 29) at the first AMP appreciation event held at The Star Performing Arts Centre in Buona Vista.
Another newly minted volunteer public path warden is retiree Kathleen Goh.
Ms Goh, 70, started volunteering with the Ayer Rajah AMP team since April 2016, and said she now feels more confident in facing errant riders.
She made clear, however, that she would take down someone’s personal particulars only as a last resort. She said: “Of course I’m not going to abuse my power, and will have to be prudent in my judgment.”
Speaking at the event, LTA chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping said that this new scheme came due to requests from AMP volunteers for increased support to deal with stubborn reckless riders. He also thanked the AMP volunteers for helping Singapore as its walkways become more crowded with pedestrians, cyclists and personal mobility device riders.
"Together, we will create a liveable, pleasant and sustainable car-lite nation," he said.