The number of signatures on an online petition calling for the reversal of the Government’s sudden ban on the use of Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) has more than doubled, from over 11,000 just a few days ago to nearly 25,000.
Following a spate of PMD-related accidents, the Government announced last week that all e-scooters will be banned from public footpaths. Those who flout the ban will face fines of up to S$2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to three months, after a grace period ends on 31 Dec.
The abrupt ban, which went into effect the day after it was announced, caused intense dissatisfaction among those who use PMDs and hundreds of food delivery riders, who use their PMDs to deliver food and make a living, met with parliamentarians seeking an alternative solution.
An online petition that was organised by a concerned citizen has since garnered nearly 25,000 signatures.
Lamenting the sudden nature of the ban, the petition claims that the news startled the “90,000+ strong PMD community in Singapore” and will negatively impact “mothers who ferry their kids on PMDs, food delivery riders who deliver your food, [and] tens of thousands of commuters who rely on PMDs everyday for their office commute.”
Urging the Government to reverse the ban until a better solution to avoid PMD-pedestrian clashes is found, the petition states:
“The 90,000+ strong PMD community in Singapore received some unexpected news of an immediate ban on the use of PMDs on footpaths in Singapore starting Nov 5th 2019 as announced by MP Lam Pin Min in Parliament on Nov 4th 2019.
“This footpath ban is essentially a de facto ban on the use of PMDs. The bike paths and PCNs are not continuous and it does not connect point to point. Limiting the use of PMDs to bike paths and PCNs is equivalent to letting someone use the bathroom but banning the use of the toilet bowls.
“Banning them on footpaths and not giving viable alternatives will essentially wipe out any practical use of PMDs and along with it, the source of income for many Singaporeans.
“The ban was announced on Nov 4th to be implemented on Nov 5th. There was no warning or viable alternatives for riders dependent on PMDs. In many areas, there are no bike paths or PCNs. There is only footpath or road.
“MP Lam Pin Min mentioned Singapore is following in the footsteps of other countries like France, but he failed to mention that in France, while eScooters are banned on footpaths, they are allowed to ride on roads up to 20km/h.
“While the government is making efforts to build more cycling paths and PCNs, until then what are the alternatives for PMD riders. Riding on the grass? Or like the cyclists, perhaps limitations to the left of the road?
“Without the use of PMDs, the thousands of delivery riders (Grabfood, food panda, deliveroo etc.) will have their main sources of income cut off. Most of the time, riding a motorbike or bicycle are not viable for them because the distances they cover are too great for bicycles and a vast majority of them do not have a motorbike license nor can shell out to get one.
“There will be a lot of people affected: Mothers who ferry their kids on PMDs, food delivery riders who deliver your food, tens of thousands of commuters who rely on PMDs everyday for their office commute etc.
“Please help us petition the Singapore Government to PMD usage on footpaths or roads until which time the PCNs and bike paths are more accessible and cover a wider area.”
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