The Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) has been instrumental in introducing cycling and PMD as a viable mode of transport for the public. For example, allowing the bicycle to be used on walkways helps many slow cyclists to avoid the risk from cars, which is possible after AMAP’s first recommendation in 2016. For that, I’m truly grateful and proud of being part of it.
However, in the midst of pushing for Active Mobility, I, as part of the AMAP members, had underestimated the stress and risks imposed on the pedestrians walking on the pavement.
This has led to a significant increase in the number of reported accidents involving PMDs, bicycles and power-assisted bicycles (PABs) on public paths, from 19 in 2015 to 42 in 2016 and to 128 in 2017. A number of them have resulted in serious injuries. – REVIEW OF ACTIVE MOBILITY REGULATIONS FOR SAFER PATH SHARING (2018-08-24)
For pedestrian’s safety, it is stated in the Code of Conduct (COC) that bicycle and PMD riders should slow down when they approach the pedestrian. However, some riders ignore the COC because it is just an advisory (optional) and they tend to focus only on the (mandatory) law (15 km/h) and Regulation (20kg/25km/700mm).
The law is often a clear reference when a layman judge what is (morally) right or wrong.
Some riders take it as their entitled “right” to go at “legal speed limit” and demand the pedestrians to give way as they ring the bell. In case of an accident, these riders blame the pedestrian for unexpected movement, leaving them “no time to react”. However, they never admit the risk was created by themselves because they did not slow down when approaching the pedestrians.
I feel we need to protect the pedestrian by law.
On reflection, it was not logical to legally allow a new group of fast device riders on the pavement, without demanding the riders to control their device in order not to harm the public.
I was disappointed regarding the recent AMAP recommendations for walkways, which only suggested to lower the speed limit, but didn’t take the opportunity to address the issue of the legal requirement for responsible riding on the walkway.
Having said that, I must admit what AMAP in Singapore has done is very pioneering and groundbreaking. As far as I know, no another developed country has made it legal for adults to ride on the walkway, riders really need to treat this as a special privileged and to give priority to pedestrians who are more vulnerable. It is understandable that such a radical measure which has never been tried before may take some time to get right.
More thoughts on 2018 AMAP recommendations:
- Lower the speed limit on the pavement from 15km/h to 10km/h
Mandatory for AM device users to stop and look out at road crossings before riding across at a slow speed
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