SINGAPORE: Town councils can set and enforce their own rules on use of personal mobility devices (PMDs) at void decks, said Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport, in Parliament on Tuesday (May 7).
The minister was responding to a question from Member of Parliament (MP) for Bukit Batok SMC, Murali Pillai, who suggested that the Ministry of Transport (MOT) "take the lead" in working with town councils to prescribe void decks as pedestrian-only areas.
Citing an example when an elderly lady in his constituency was hospitalised after a collision with a personal mobility device (PMD) user while she was retrieving letters, Mr Pillai said that the regulations of town councils "may not be fit for purpose" in deterring PMD users from "plying through" void decks.
"The point is people in these areas would not be exercising the same caution as crossing roads," added Mr Pillai, urging the ministry to impose regulations at void decks.
Dr Lam said that in deciding if a public area is to be considered a public path - either shared or pedestrian-only - for exemption under the Active Mobility Act, three key principals are considered.
"One which is safety, second, connectivity and thirdly, which is clarity of rules," added Dr Lam.
Void decks are exempted from the Act because they have "multiple blind spots due to the presence of pillars", are "not critical for connectivity" and are "easily demarcated" to avoid confusion.
"As such, these provide TCs (town councils) with the flexibility to set and enforce their own rules on the usage of activity mobility devices, according to your own needs," Dr Lam said.
"So if the town council feels that, if void decks are areas where potential accidents can happen, then town councils can actually ban the use of PMDs (at) the void decks."
Dr Lam reiterated that because "the configuration of void decks differ from one place to another", town councils will continue to be allowed the flexibility to decide if it will ban PMD use at void decks.
"At the end of the day, we are cognisant of the fact that safety is paramount, and if the town council feels that the banning of PMD use at the void deck is necessary, then it can be done by the town council by-laws," he said.