Bicycle and e-bike accidents down slightly

A former e-scooter rider participating in a safe riding programme organised by NTUC in an open area near GrabFood's e-Scooter Trade-In Grant Centre yesterday.
A former e-scooter rider participating in a safe riding programme organised by NTUC in an open area near GrabFood's e-Scooter Trade-In Grant Centre yesterday.ST PHOTOS: KUA CHEE SIONG
Above: A former e-scooter rider filling out forms as part of the process to trade in his e-scooter at the GrabFood centre yesterday.
A former e-scooter rider filling out forms as part of the process to trade in his e-scooter at the GrabFood centre yesterday.

Between Jan and Nov last year, there were 417 cases, down from 465 in same period in 2018

Road accidents involving cyclists and users of electric bikes fell slightly last year to 417 between January and November, down from 465 accidents in the same period the year before.

This update came from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a Facebook post yesterday.

But the improvement should not be taken for granted, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said later. "Whether cyclist or motorist, we need to look out for fellow road users. Let's keep everyone safe on roads," he said in a Facebook post.

Earlier yesterday morning, Mr Khaw had visited GrabFood's e-Scooter Trade-In Grant Centre at Midview City in Sin Ming.

The centre was set up last November to let GrabFood riders tap a grant to help them give up their e-scooters in exchange for bicycles, e-bikes or personal mobility aids.

Mr Khaw presented e-bikes to three food delivery riders there, and also tried out a safe riding programme that aims to help e-scooter riders switch to other devices.

He noted that it will take some time to get used to riding an e-bike, and urged food delivery riders to join the safe riding programme organised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), which said 146 riders had signed up for the course as of Monday.

The e-bike population is expected to swell in the coming months, amid strict enforcement of an e-scooter footpath ban that has resulted in 41 errant riders being caught so far.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min told Parliament on Monday that about 2,600 food delivery riders have applied to switch from e-scooters to e-bikes for their work.

They make up almost three-quarters of the 3,550 people who have successfully applied to tap the grant to help them give up their e-scooters.

The rest have mostly applied to switch to bicycles.

In a separate update yesterday, NTUC said it had extended the deadline for e-scooter delivery riders facing financial difficulties to apply for short-term financial assistance to March 31. The extension from Dec 31 comes amid delays faced by some food delivery riders for new devices to replace their e-scooters.

About 790 riders have successfully switched to new devices, but some 2,760 riders are still waiting to do so, Mr Khaw told Parliament this week.

Yesterday, NTUC also said a total of 168 affected food delivery riders have approached its Employment and Employability Institute for employment and training assistance.

Of these riders, 32 are exploring new job opportunities. Four have successfully entered the food and beverage and logistics sectors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2020, with the headline 'Bicycle and e-bike accidents down slightly'. Print Edition | Subscribe