Recently, there have been calls for e-scooters to be banned here.
Yes, a life lost is one too many.
I understand the calls for a ban on e-scooters, but will this
really solve the problems we have today, which have been partly
brought about by inconsiderate behaviour and a lack of graciousness?
If we were to ban everything that has the potential to harm,
the list will be never-ending.
Instead, rules have been introduced and enforcement efforts
have been increased. Infrastructure has been developed and
public education has been conducted such that these activities
can exist but the damage caused will be minimised.
The same has been done for e-scooters.
Globally, e-scooters have risen in popularity as a mode
E-scooters are an attractive mode of transport to those
looking to ditch their cars, and as a first-and-last-mile
form of travel to complement our public transport.
They are also environmentally friendly.
To effect a ban now would have repercussions on the segment
of the population that is using PMDs as a way of life.
These are considerations that the Government has to weigh
and trade off.
In an ideal world, there would be separate paths for
different users. But land is scarce in Singapore and,
so, we will have to learn to share. All e-scooter users
have a responsibility to other path users to show
more consideration, slow down and be gracious when
The policy to allow the use of e-scooters and bicycles
on footpaths is still fairly new. The Active Mobility Act
was enacted only over a year ago and, as with any new policy,
there is a period of adjustment.
That is why policymakers have to continuously monitor
the situation and further fine-tune policies where necessary.
This is also where the Active Mobility Advisory Panel comes in,
to monitor the ground situation, engage various stakeholders
and make recommendations on changes that are necessary
to ensure that active mobility can be encouraged in
a safe manner in Singapore.
Steven Lim Soo Huat
Active Mobility Advisory Panel (Member)
As the above was written by someone from the
Active Mobility Advisory Panel, I HAVE TO respond:
E-scooters as a "first-and-last-mile form of travel"?
Singapore is tiny and compact with a well-connected transport system.
Why not just walk?
On the one hand, the health ministry encourages us to be
more physically active by coming up with the National Steps Challenge.
On the other, the transport ministry encourages the
use of e-scooters, which leads to people taking zero steps.
I acknowledge the fact that there are some e-scooter users
who ride in a safe manner.
But please stop harbouring the delusion that the rest
would show "more consideration, slow down and be gracious
when sharing paths".
They don't. And they won't.
In you must force e-scooters upon us, please do so only
after proper safety measures are in place. Here's one solution I can offer:
[Obviously, the humps were drawn exaggeratedly huge for comic effect.
In real life, they can be much smaller but still deter speeding PMDs
while allowing wheelchair users to manoeuvre over them.]
As it now stands, the slew of accidents caused by
errant e-scooter riders clearly shows that:
- They are still not ready to be unleashed on walkways.
- Enforcement is lacking.
- Whatever "advices" the Active Mobility Advisory Panel
dishes out are woefully ineffective.
NEWS FLASH (May 17, 2019):
Germany is the latest -- after Britain, Peru and France --
to ban e-scooters on pavements to protect pedestrians.
Globally, more countries are coming to their senses.
When is Singapore's turn?