Too risky? Incidents of in-line skaters on Singapore roads spark debate

Photos of two incidents on June 18 were submitted to Facebook page Roads.sg, resulting in a discussion among netizens about road safety risks while in-line skating on the road.
Photos of two incidents on June 18 were submitted to Facebook page Roads.sg, resulting in a discussion among netizens about road safety risks while in-line skating on the road.PHOTOS: ROADS.SG / FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Two sightings of people using in-line skates on roads have sparked an online debate about the risks of alternative modes of transportation on the road.

Early on Tuesday afternoon (June 18), a man wearing in-line skates was spotted on the road waiting for the traffic lights to turn green in front of SBS Transit bus service 16.

Later that day, at around 6.30pm, another man on the road wearing in-line skates was spotted waiting for vehicles to pass along Alexandra Terrace headed towards Pasir Panjang during heavy traffic.

Neither man wore safety gear.

Photos of both incidents were submitted to Facebook page Roads.sg, resulting in a discussion among netizens about road safety risks while in-line skating on the road.

While some believe that the in-line skater put his life and the lives of others in danger, others believe there is nothing to worry about.

RULES

According to Singapore Road Safety Council chairman Bernard Tay, there are no rules against in-line skates on the road.

Under the Active Mobility Act, personal mobility devices (PMDs) are not allowed on roads. PMDs include skateboards but not in-line skates.

He told The New Paper: "(In-line) skates are powered by someone's legs, not motor like personal mobility devices.

"There is a reason that it is rare to see people (in-line skating) on the road and why there are no rules against it, it is because people know not to do something so dangerous."

Mr Tay added that in-line skaters are risking their lives by travelling on roads because not only do in-line skates lack stopping mechanism to avoid accidents, but also vehicles have more power and can move faster compared to in-line skaters.

In the event that an in-line skater were to fall, a car could run over him.

Mr Gerard Pereira, Singapore Safety Driving Centre training manager, said the terrain on roads is too unpredictable and crowded for in-line skaters to safely manoeuvre around vehicles.

He told TNP: "If a vehicle driver knocks a pedestrian down, that is their responsibility. If an in-line skater decides to be on the road despite the risks and gets knocked down by a vehicle, the driver would still be liable."