Singapore—A thirty-four-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday (Dec 31) for inciting personal mobility device (PMD) users to violence the previous day via posts on the popular messaging app, Telegram.
According to a news release from the Public Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force, a report was made to them concerning an individual’s posts in chat groups on Telegram asking PMD users to meet at 9:00 on the evening of Monday (Dec 30) at Punggol Park and to cause “injury to anyone they see.”
Police officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division conducted investigations into the man’s post and were successful in identifying him. The man was arrested at 10am on December 31, with two of his mobile phones taken into police custody.
Investigations into the matter are currently ongoing.
The statement from the police says that “The offence of making an electronic record containing an incitement to violence, punishable under Section 267C (b) of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, carries an imprisonment term of up to 5 years, a fine, or both. The Police takes a serious view of anyone involved in criminal activities and will continue to take tough enforcement actions against those who break the law.”
On January 1, 2020, Wednesday, the full implementation of e-scooters being banned on public footpaths was carried out. The ban was announced in Parliament on November 4, 2019, and warnings began to be issued by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to errant PMD users the following day.
The Government announced that from November 5 through the end of the year, warnings would issued to people who continued to use PMDs in public footpaths, except in the most egregious cases.
Two PMD users in Sengkang and in Yishun were apprehended for defying the ban on January 1. These individuals may receive a jail sentence of up to three months or be fined as much as S$2,000.
In a Facebook post on January 1, the LTA wrote,
#NoMoreWarnings Our enforcement officers have started taking strict enforcement action against e-scooter users who are caught riding on footpaths.
Earlier today, they were in areas such as Ang Mo Kio, Punggol, Sengkang, Sembawang and Yishun, and caught two offenders who were riding their e-scooters on footpaths. They could be fined up to S$2,000 and/or jailed for up to three months.
E-scooter users can continue to ride their devices on cycling paths and PCNs. We are ramping up such infrastructure island wide to better support active mobility.
#Reminder All path and road users should continue to keep a lookout for one another and make safety a top priority.”
The ban on e-scooters was implemented due to concerns over public safety, especially with the growing number of PMD-related accidents, including one fatality, that of a 65-year-old female cyclist in September, after she had collided with a PMD rider.
Dr Lam Pin Min, the Senior Minister of State who announced that e-scooters would be banned in Singapore’s public footpaths, had said that the decision to impose the ban had not been an easy one.
He wrote in a Facebook post on November 4, “We have been having extensive discussions about where PMDs should be heading. It is an emotive topic – some are for it, while others have called for a total ban immediately.
Singapore is land-scarce, and with many competing needs, it is practically impossible to dedicate separate paths for PMDs everywhere.
Despite major efforts to educate safe and gracious riding, irresponsible riding and accidents involving e-scooters have risen over the past few years, leading to injuries and even loss of lives….
It has not been a straightforward nor an easy decision, but public safety always comes first and should never be at the expense of the young and elderly amongst us.
We hope to have Singaporeans’ understanding and support on this new policy and would urge all PMD users to continue to exercise safe and responsible behaviour when using their devices on other permissible areas such as cycling paths and park connector networks (PCNs).” -/TISG