SINGAPORE: A mobile app for members of the public to report errant retailers and GPS trackers to monitor personal mobility devices (PMDs). These are some ways in which the government can rev up enforcement on errant users and retailers, several MPs suggested during the Parliamentary debate on the Land Transport (Enforcement Measures) Bill on Monday (Sep 10).
Before the Bill was passed, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min highlighted some of its key points, including compulsory registration of e-scooters from early 2019 and ensuring that all motorised PMDs be compliant with fire safety standards from 2021.
Additionally, Dr Lam said that the Bill will strengthen the Land Transport Authority’s enforcement capacity by enabling the appointment of outsourced enforcement officers and giving them limited enforcement powers.
MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC Joan Pereira stressed that the Government will need to consider having more enforcement officers or use technology to make an impact against PMD users and cyclists who break the law.
“So far, the enforcement has been a bit of a hit and miss. It is not easy to catch errant ones as there are so many users and they are everywhere, even riding their devices along common corridors and void decks of our HDB blocks, shopping malls, hawker centres, and even community centres and MRT stations,” said Ms Pereira.
In order to keep pace with the number of PMDs users. Ms Pereira suggested installing microchips with GPS tracking capability in PMDs.
Her fellow MP from Tanjong Pagar GRC Melvin Yong also suggested that LTA use technology to reduce the reliance on manpower for enforcement.
He recommended having a common fleet management system to track and monitor the use of all active mobility devices so as to efficiently deploy limited ground resources. MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC Gan Thiam Poh suggested using street cameras to identify reckless users.
In addition to enforcement action against the users, MPs also stressed the importance of compliance from retailers.
Dr Lee Bee Wah, MP for Nee Soon GRC, suggested that the Government take “strong enforcement action” on outlets which sell devices that do not comply with the new regulations, or perform illegal modifications on PMDs.
MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC Ang Hin Kee called for LTA to introduce a mobile app for members of the public to report retailers who advertise or sell illegal devices.
For the benefit of prospective buyers, Mr Ang also recommended that LTA compile a list of PMD retailers who sell devices that comply with the government’s regulations.
MANDATORY INSURANCE FOR PMD USERS?
Additionally, the MPs also discussed the possibility of imposing mandatory insurance for PMD users.
This, said Mr Yong, would enable victims in pedestrian accidents involving PMD users to receive a “justified” compensation. Offending users too would not be able to escape the consequences of their actions, he added.
“Adopting a similar liability and compensation framework as per motor vehicles could go a long way in ensuring that the victims would not be overly burdened by medical expenses in the event of a serious accident,” Mr Yong said.
Mr Zainal Sapari, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, suggested that users purchase personal liability insurance tied to the registrations of their PMDs, explaining that compensation issues and civil lawsuits can further complicate the situation for the different parties involved in accidents.
MP for Jurong GRC Rahayu Mahzam further stressed the importance of mandatory insurance as it protects both the injured pedestrian and the rider.
“If (PMD users) are found to be personally liable for the damages and do not have funds to cover payment for compensation or injuries and damages, the injured pedestrian may be left out in the cold,” she argued.
Additionally, MP for Tampines GRC Cheng Li Hui suggested that food delivery service providers ensure that their riders be covered with blanket third-party liability insurance.
“We know by now that incidents caused by PMDs can be fatal or cause very serious injuries. The victims’ medical bills can run high and therefore mandating some form of insurance coverage for users who utilise PMDs as a tool for work is definitely beneficial for all stakeholders.
Delivery service providers should take charge of their riders and “incentivise or penalise them according to their track record,” Ms Cheng added.