PMD in fatal crash exceeded weight, width limit: LTA

Wake for 65-year-old cyclist who died after colliding with e-scooter held yesterday

Madam Ong Bee Eng, 65, died after her bicycle collided with an e-scooter. At her wake yesterday, her family members called for more safety measures on the use of personal mobility devices.
Madam Ong Bee Eng, 65, died after her bicycle collided with an e-scooter. At her wake yesterday, her family members called for more safety measures on the use of personal mobility devices.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

The e-scooter that collided with a 65-year-old cyclist, who died after the accident, was a non-compliant personal mobility device (PMD), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday.

Madam Ong Bee Eng, a logistics assistant packer, died on Wednesday after she was seriously injured in the accident in Bedok last Saturday. She had been in a coma at Changi General Hospital's surgical intensive care unit.

LTA said: "Based on checks by LTA on the PMD involved in this accident, the device involved was a non-compliant PMD which exceeded the prescribed weight and width limit for use on public paths under the Active Mobility Act. The unregistered device should not have been used on public paths."

LTA added: "We have zero tolerance towards those who show flagrant disregard for our regulations and endanger public safety."

The police have arrested the 20-year-old rider and are investigating him for causing death by a rash act, an offence that carries a jail term of up to five years and/or a fine.

LTA is also investigating the case under the Active Mobility Act, and said the rider could have committed the offence of riding a non-compliant PMD on a public path. This could result in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or three months' jail.

When The Straits Times visited Madam Ong's wake yesterday, her 38-year-old nephew, who gave his name only as Mr Sim, said the family had not discussed whether to pursue further action. They plan to wait for the police to announce their findings.

There were 228 reported accidents involving PMDs on public paths last year and in 2017, with 196 of them resulting in injuries.

Mr Sim said riders need to be aware of the consequences that speeding PMDs can cause.

Another relative, Mrs Lim Mei Yean, who declined to give her age, called for more safety measures like a compulsory road safety course.

 
 
 

She said: "We understand the benefits of PMDs and the job opportunities they create but to co-exist, rules must be in place now before another family has to go through a devastating moment like this."

There have also been calls to ban the devices, an option which has been ruled out by the Ministry of Transport.

A five-month-old petition on Change.org calling for a ban on PMDs and e-bikes has been submitted to the authorities, after a sharp rise in the number of signatures following Madam Ong's accident.

On Tuesday morning, the online petition had about 9,000 signatures, but the number grew to more than 38,000 by 11.30pm yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2019, with the headline 'PMD in fatal crash exceeded weight, width limit: LTA'. Subscribe