A straw poll of 150 residents by The Straits Times found that 63 wanted PMDs to be banned, and 45 wanted them restricted to those with trouble getting around.


When retiree Tan Hock Suan walks in his Bedok North neighbourhood, he will look over his shoulder every few metres to see if there is any Personal Mobility Device (PMD) speeding down the footpath behind him.

Many residents of Bedok found PMDs to be a public nuisance The 73-year old told The Straits Times that a month ago, he was walking to a nearby hawker centre to meet his friends when he was almost run over by a PMD.

"I heard the motor... so I moved to the side to avoid it. I have also seen people having to jump out of the way, (and yet) grazing their elbows and knees, I think a few small injuries are much better than being hit and seriously injured. We have all seen how PMDs can hit someone with the force of a motorbike," Mr. Tan said.

The neighbourhood is where 65-year old Madam Ong Bee Eng was seriously injured after an e-scooter collided with her while she was on her bicycle last Saturday. She suffered a serious brain injury and fractures to her ribs and collar bone. The logistics assistant packer was in a coma until she died last Wednesday.

Of the 150 that were polled, 122 people wanted the Government to impose strict fines on those who ride recklessly A straw poll of 150 residents by The Straits Times found that 63 wanted PMDs to be banned, and 45 wanted them restricted to those with trouble getting around on their own. And 122 people wanted the Government to impose strict fines on those who ride recklessly, or modify the devices to go at much higher speeds.

The residents said the presence of PMDs was a 'public nuisance' and 'an accident waiting to happen'.

When The Straits Times visited the estate on Thursday and yesterday, slightly more than 50 PMDs were seen whizzing by during a four-hour stretch on each of the two days, and a majority of them were food deliverymen.

Several teenage riders were also sighted moving at high speeds, racing from one end of the street to the other on PMDs.

MAny residents said that they still observed many modified PMDs in use and operating at high speeds Residents said they often saw 'modified' PMDs along the streets, describing these devices as having motors that allowed them to reach much higher speeds.

Madam Lee Minghsuan, 46, a housewife, said that more should be done to prevent PMDs from being modified to go faster and used as a plaything for thrill-seekers.

"Notices should be sent out to all mechanic shops... that modifying these dangerous vehicles will come with consequences, If we want our loved ones to come home safe every day, we must make sure that the streets they walk and drive on are safe," Madam Lee said.

Student Freda Chua, 19, said that keeping Singapore's roads safer would require much harsher penalties for PMD riders, including a jail term. "I do not think that a majority of speeding PMD riders recognise that their vehicles are almost the same as motorbikes, and that riding really fast would put people at an even higher risk of serious injury," she said.

The student added that she had joined more than 50,000 others to sign an online petition to remove PMDs from Singapore's streets.