The authorities may have to ban personal mobility devices (PMDs) in Singapore if user behaviour does not improve, said Senior Minister of State for Transport, Janil Puthucheary.
He said this in response to questions filed by members of Parliament in a sitting on Monday (Oct. 7).
Assuring Singaporeans that the ministry shares the country's concerns over the safety of PMDs, especially in light of the recent death of an elderly cyclist, Janil said that the ministry is determined to improve footpath safety to the levels before PMDs were allowed onto them.
He added that the Ministry of Transport is currently revisiting plans to strengthen public safety and reduce PMD-related fire risks, saying that the ministry will need about a month or two to do so.
Having said that, Janil said that the ministry still believes that there are benefits to PMD usage:
"We remain of the view that PMDs are useful devices for first-and-last mile connectivity, if they are used responsibly."
It would be ideal to have dedicated paths for PMDs but because of infrastructural constraints, especially in older towns, pedestrians and bicycles share footpaths as a "second best practical solution".
Govt working to improve footpath safety
In the meantime, the Land Transport Authority is working to identify safety risk hotspots and remedy them by widening footpaths and installing speed-regulating strips.
"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? " said Janil, who noted that these are difficult choices.
"In the meantime, we strongly urge PMD users to be extra responsible and mindful of others," he added.
"If their behaviour does not improve, we may have no choice but to ban their usage completely from Singapore. This would be a loss."
Top image by Joshua Lee.