Huh, you talking about PMD issit?
No, we’re talking about PMAs.
In case you’ve already got the two mixed up, PMDs are Personal Mobility Devices, which includes vehicles like your e-scooters blasting incredibly loud manyao music.
On the other hand, PMAs, which stand for Personal Mobility Aids, are largely used by those who have medical issues. One example of a PMA is an electrical wheelchair.
Although PMDs were banned on footpaths back in 2020, PMAs were not.
Because it’s actually a necessity for some people lah, while having your favourite XMM ride pillion as you wake the whole neighbourhood up with your e-scooter and music definitely isn’t.
However, the authorities are now looking into implementing new rules regarding the use of PMAs.
New Rules for Using PMAs?
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and chairman of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) Baey Yam Keng said on 15 March that the panel is looking at whether there is a need to implement new rules for PMAs that are becoming a more common sight along our roads. These devices include cargo bikes and recumbent bicycles.
If you have no idea what a cargo bike or a recumbent bicycle looks like, don’t worry.
Cargo bikes are relatively bigger in size and come with a storage area, while recumbent bikes allow the user to operate them in a laid-back position. Both vehicles can travel at high speeds and be motorised.
Even though they are seen in Singapore today, they are not very commonly used by the general public as of now.
(So don’t think that you’re a huge suaku just because you haven’t seen them yet lah. It’s ok.)
On 15 March, Mr Baey appeared on a radio and Facebook live session with SPH Media radio station One FM 91.3.
During the session, he assured that planning for the aforementioned measures is part of the panel’s responsibility; that they should be considering what to do with potential trends before they become a reality.
FYI, if you haven’t heard of them before, the AMAP is in charge of suggesting various actions for the government to take in order to make sure that our footpaths and cycling paths are utilised safely.
Additionally, there also have been various complaints from residents across Singapore who have reported that PMAs may be misused by individuals who do not deal with mobility issues.
“I got a lot of complaints from residents (on PMAs) that they are becoming like a pseudo-motorcycle without COE (certificate of entitlement),” he mentioned.
As such, the panel is also deliberating about whether there should be more restrictive rules regarding which individuals are eligible to use PMAs.
“We decided to go ahead before it becomes a problem and look at these different types of newer forms of mobility devices…whether there is a need to look at the rules now or to review the rules,” he explained.
The new rules may be implemented in the form of restricting the type of devices that are allowed on the streets, or the eligibility criteria for individuals who want to utilise these devices.
Regarding the latter, he said, “(For PMAs), does a person need to get a doctor’s certificate to say he is disabled or has a mobility issue? There could be a possibility that people are abusing it.”
Better Use of Road Safety Park
Mr Baey also revealed the plans that AMAP has for the Road Safety Park in East Coast Park.
Yup, it’s the place you went to while you were in primary school so that you could learn how to cross the road safely.
Mr Baey brought up the fact that AMAP is seeing how they can turn the Road Safety Park into a “training ground”. He also mentioned that AMAP has plans to turn the park into a place where both children and adults can learn proper road and footpath etiquette.
This is also a part of the panel’s plans to better engage with members of the public.
Currently, as everyone knows, there are road safety programmes for primary school students.
So maybe the sessions for members of the public will be quite similar lah.
Mr Baey assumed the role of AMAP chairman earlier this year after Minister of State for Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim stepped down.
During his six years as AMAP chairman, Mr Faishal handled the increase in the use of active mobility devices in Singapore, and those devices included bicycles.
In other news, after being diagnosed with stage 1 nose cancer late last year, Mr Baey also brought up the fact that he has started exercising again.
In fact, he actually cycled to the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) building, which is situated in Braddell, to attend the interview!
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