It might be a new year, but it seems like the same old problems have yet to cease being a nuisance to both the authorities and the public alike. Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) have taken Singapore by storm but its surge in popularity has also drawn the irk many around Singapore. Yes, the e-scooters and e-bikes are a great way to get around our little concrete jungle and navigate the urban landscape that covers the majority of the island but to what end?
Since its introduction, more and more people are switching to PMDs to get around instead of taking personal vehicles or public transport. This is great for the reduction of air pollution, traffic congestion and leaving a carbon footprint. However, the safety of PMD users and the people in their direct vicinity is a concern. Reckless e-scooter and e-bike riders have caused accidents and there has been more than one occasion where an accident involving a PMD has claimed the life of either the rider or passer-by.
The government has strict laws governing the use of PMDs but still, we see riders take the law into their own hands by riding their devices on roads, walkways and places where they are not allowed to. "It is an offence under the Road Traffic Act to ride PMDs on roads, including expressways. PMD users who do so, pose a significant danger to themselves and other road users. To deter errant users, the penalties will be tiered to impose tougher penalties for more egregious cases," LTA said.
The LTA said in a press release, “Personal Mobility Device (PMD) users caught riding on roads will face tougher enforcement action from Jan 15”. Current fines for PMD users who ride on roads are pegged at S$100. However, from Jan 15 onwards, riders caught on local roads will be fined S$300 and those caught on major roads will be fined S$500. Anyone caught riding on the expressway will be charged in court and fined S$2,000 or face up to 3 months’ jail. Repeat offenders who are caught on the expressway will face a S$5,000 fine or up to 6 months’ jail.
I’m very happy that the government is taking a harsher position on errant PMD users. Many of these riders are young kids who are not even of age to own a motorcycle or car license, which means they should not be allowed anywhere near a road on their modified e-scooters and e-bikes. They are a danger to not only themselves but other road users. Let’s hope that the stiffer penalties for these PMD users will deter them from riding on the road and in turn reduce the number of accidents.