9 in 10 PMD users believe they are considerate but other road users disagree, survey finds

The Road Sense Index, which studied attitudes and expectations of road users, found that only two in 10 felt that PMD riders watch out for them, in stark contrast to the nine in 10 PMD users who say they keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists o
The Road Sense Index, which studied attitudes and expectations of road users, found that only two in 10 felt that PMD riders watch out for them, in stark contrast to the nine in 10 PMD users who say they keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists on shared pavements. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - While an overwhelming majority of personal mobility device (PMD) users and cyclists believe they are considerate towards pedestrians, a study commissioned by the Traffic Police found that other road users think otherwise.

The Road Sense Index, which studied attitudes and expectations of road users, found that only two in 10 felt that PMD riders watch out for them.

This is in stark contrast to the nine in 10 PMD users who say they keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists on shared pavements.

Similarly, while eight in 10 cyclists said they give way to pedestrians on shared footpaths, only three in 10 road users believe cyclists are attentive towards them.

These discrepancies in perceptions were suggested as one of the causes of low graciousness on roads, with the study finding that "there is a disconnect between the self and perceived attitudes and behaviours towards road safety and graciousness".

Road users tend to rate themselves positively, while the behaviour of others is perceived negatively.

Road users comprised pedestrians - including the elderly and those with children - as well as drivers and users of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles and heavy vehicles.

Besides the differences in perception, the study also found that stress played another huge role in contributing to low levels of graciousness.

 
 
 

Out of the 1,000 respondents, 40 per cent described themselves as "stressed" during their commute, with 62 per cent describing other road users as "impatient", and 44 per cent describing others as "aggressive".

A Traffic Police spokesman said these descriptions were attributed to the fast-paced lifestyle and competitiveness in Singapore, which results in "Singaporeans being fixated on getting to their destinations at great speed, often at the expense of road etiquette and safety".

E-scooter store owner Loh Kay Hwa, 39, believes there is a bias against PMD users, saying that most follow the rules - though some give the entire community a bad name.

"Since there're so many reports on PMD users who break the rules and get into accidents, people tend to assume that all PMD users are like that," he said. "But unless you personally see an errant user yourself, it's not fair to see us all in a negative light."