Highway Code to include guidelines on emergency vehicles, PMDs and pedestrian use of mobile phones

Highway Code to include guidelines on emergency vehicles, PMDs and pedestrian use of mobile phones

Ambulance
File photo of an ambulance. 

SINGAPORE: Amendments to the Highway Code, which include guidelines on the use of personal mobility devices (PMDs), giving way to emergency vehicles and pedestrians' usage of mobile communication devices, will take effect from Dec 1, police announced on Friday (Nov 15). 

In the amended code, there will be a new provision emphasising that PMDs such as e-scooters and personal mobility aids (PMAs) like motorised wheelchairs are not allowed to be used for travelling on roads.  

 “This is for the safety of users and other motorists around them,” according to the police news release. 

Earlier this month, a ban on the use of e-scooters along footpaths was announced. Offenders will face fines of up to S$2,000 and jail time of up to three months once the ban is strictly enforced from 2020.

READ: Commentary - What's next for e-scooters after the footpath ban? 

The highway code will also offer guidance on giving way to emergency vehicles.

“Road users should exercise civic responsibility and give way to emergency vehicles,” said police. “This can make a real difference to saving lives.”

Motorists are asked to do the following when they hear an emergency siren or see the flashing lights of vehicles used for medical, fire and rescue, military, police and customs purposes: 

  • Stay calm and check the direction of the oncoming emergency vehicle
  • Give way by signalling early and move towards the left if it is safe to do so
  • Slow down to let the emergency vehicle overtake if it is not safe to move to the left safely
  • Not speed up to block an overtaking emergency vehicle, or try to overtake or tailgate an emergency vehicle 
  • Not break the law, for example by driving through a red light, to give way to the emergency vehicle

Another provision that will be introduced are guidelines on the use of mobile communication devices while crossing the road. 

"Pedestrians are a particularly vulnerable group of road users. They face an increased risk of fatal or severe injury in the event of an accident," said police. 

Thus, pedestrians are advised to be cautious and not risk their safety nor that of other road users by avoiding the use of mobile communication devices when they are crossing. 

They should also always use pedestrian crossings where available and obey traffic signs and lights, said police. 

Source: CNA/ga(hs)

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