SINGAPORE: Transport-related issues were raised by Workers’ Party MPs in Parliament on Tuesday (May 15), on the second day of debate on the President’s Address. These include reducing the speed limit for Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) such as e-scooters, building a good riding culture, and the impact of higher motorcycle COE prices on the lower-income group.
Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan called for the Government to consider lowering the speed limit for personal mobility devices (PMDs) such as e-scooters to 15 kilometres per hour across all surfaces. Currently, he explained, PMDs are allowed to travel up to a maximum of 25 kilometres per hour on park connectors, and he said that this is still an “unsafe speed limit”.
“I would invite the minister to take a walk with me along a busy park connector and experience whether it is safe for PMDs to travel at that kind of speed in a park connector, especially during peak period,” he said.
“Moreover, many PMD users exceed 15 kilometres per hour even on footpaths too.”
ENFORCEMENT ALONE WILL HAVE “LIMITED EFFECT” IN BUILDING GOOD RIDING CULTURE
In his speech, Mr Tan also pointed out the importance of building a good riding culture, which he said is “really lacking” at the moment.
Citing examples such as accidents or near-misses with PMD users and pedestrians, or of people walking along footpaths or walkways being startled by inconsiderate cyclists or PMD users, Mr Tan also stressed the urgency of doing so at this point.
He explained that that the Government has been focusing on shared bicycles and personal mobility devices (PMDs) such as e-scooters, in its drive towards a “car-lite” city with active mobility for the first and last-mile connectivity for public transport.
“If the Government truly thinks that a 'car-lite' city as well as first-last mile connectivity are important for the future of our transportation system and will, in the President's words, play an important part in a metropolis that embraces the future, I feel that this is a critical moment for us to get it right as far as the safe and proper operation of transport modes for first-last mile connectivity is concerned,” he said.
“We have to go about setting right this riding culture now, and if not we may miss the boat again,” he added. “That is why I am raising this issue here today.”
GOVERNMENT’S APPROACH ON HIGHER MOTORCYCLE COE PRICES ‘NOT QUITE BOLD’: FAISAL MANAP
Transport issues were also brought up by Mr Tan’s WP colleague, Aljunied GRC MP Faisal Manap, who raised the issue of higher motorcycle COE prices, and the impact of these higher prices on lower-income groups.
“Why has the ministry not taken a bolder step in this area to regulate and improve the situation for the benefit of the lower-income?” he asked, adding that he has previously proposed measures to help this group be self-reliant.
“But the ministry’s response is that they are also very concerned about the financial hardship faced by the lower-income who are affected and burdened by the COE prices,” he said. “And they suggest this group visit the Social Services Office to get financial help.”
“I do not quite agree with this approach,” he added.
“Here, we can see how the ministry is 'not quite bold' in making changes to the COE policy for motorcycles, and in fact has adopted an approach that is rather contradictory to the principles that we have promoted.”
Mr Faisal was referencing President Halimah’s point in her speech on the importance of the fourth-generation leaders to make bold changes, rather than being content with “tweaking things at the margins”.
“Existing policies that have become obstacles or are problematic and contradict efforts to achieve the people’s aspirations, should be revamped, improved or even abolished if necessary,” he said.