The use of personal mobility devices (PMDs) in Singapore could be banned if the behaviour of riders does not improve, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary.
Speaking in Parliament on 7 October 2019, Dr Janil noted how the recent death of 65-year-old cyclist Madam Ong Bee Eng following a collision with a PMD rider had caused public alarm over the dangers that the devices pose to others.
Noting the number of accidents involving PMDs had been rising in line with the growing number of PMD users, Dr Janil urged users to be extra responsible and mindful of others.
“Meanwhile, we have to make a decision on where to allow PMDs to be used, other than on dedicated paths for PMDs and bicycles – on footpaths, or on roads, or not at all until the town is ready?” he added.
Dr Janil said that new HDB towns will have a clear separation of traffic, with pedestrians on footpath, active mobility devices on dedicated paths for PMDs and bicycles and motor vehicles on roads.
For existing towns that do not have many dedicated paths for PMDs, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working with Members of Parliament to identify hotspots where improvement works – such as the widening of footpaths and the installation of speed-regulating strips – can be implemented quickly to enhance safety.
The Transport Ministry will review plans announced in August to strengthen public path safety and reduce PMD-related fire risks to study possible additional measures. The review is expected to be completed in about two months’ time.
Dr Janil also announced that from April 2020, owners of PMDs must send their devices for inspection every two years. Retailers must also get e-scooters inspected and registered before they can sell the devices. The regular inspection is to detect and weed out illegally modified devices.