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In 1906, the first motorcar in Singapore was registered – It was a small 10 horsepower, single-cylinder two seater owned by a Mrs Dare (apt name, we think). Fast forward a century to our modern day Lion City, and our motorways are now governed by a strict set of rules that allow both drivers and pedestrians to enjoy a mostly safe and organised experience on the road. 

 

When it comes to PMD and PAB devices though, it’s a vastly different story. It’s currently the law of the jungle when it comes to public paths, partly because such devices have only been around since 2013. As these devices get more popular, so have the accidents, and we hate seeing this happen in our communities.

 

If you’re a PAB or PMD user, there are many ways you could help keep yourself and the the people around you safe(r) – Here’s 13 road safety tips for e-scooter, PMD and PAB riders in Singapore:

 

1. Figure your route out before you go

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Planning your route will not only save you time, but will also help save lives. If you’re sure of where you’re headed, you’re less likely to put yourself in a situation where you’ll have to get on a pedestrian path, or make sudden turns or maneuvers. Saving time also means that you’re not rushing to where you’re going, which means you’ll be riding at an appropriate pace instead of whizzing by poor, unsuspecting pedestrians.

2. Do mandatory checks before setting off

Always, always, always check that your lights, brakes and tyres are in good working condition before setting off, and don’t forget to properly adjust your handlebars and seat so that you’ll have full control of the device when you’re out and about.

If you do forget to check your device, and it starts acting up in the middle of your journey, don’t panic or start cussing. Instead, pull over at a safe spot before continuing your journey, and if your device isn’t in full working condition, walk your device to your next destination

PS. It is important to conduct regular checks on your device’s battery – If it has any deformities, looks bloated or corroded, refrain from using your PMD or PAB.

 

3. Charge your PMD or PAB safely

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On 3 June 2021, the Straits Times reported that a 20-year-old man died after his PMD caught fire whilst he was in the elevator. In 2019, a 40-year-old man’s PMD caught fire as he was charging it at home. There were 42 PMD-related fires in 2020, and 102 in 2019. 

 

The moral of the story is: PMDs and PABs are to be treated with caution.

 

The LTA offers various tips when it comes to charging your device safely and securely:

  • Do not charge your PAB or PMD immediately after use. 
  • Always use a power adaptor that carries the safety mark and that is manufacturer-approved
  • Charge your device on a flat surface so heat can disperse well
  • Do not leave batteries charging overnight or for an extended period of time
  • Do not charge your device or its batteries near combustible materials or along an escape path
  • Do not attempt to modify or repair your device on your own 

 

4. Do not speed when on public paths

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The speed limit for e-scooters, PABs and PMDs is 25km/h. Need we say more?

 

5. Stop and look out for vehicles at road crossings

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Don’t be complacent! Stopping to look gives pedestrians, riders and motorists alike more reaction time, and greatly reduces the risk of accidents and unfortunate mishaps. Drivers and other road users are only human after all, and can make mistakes such as overlooking a red light.

6. Wear a helmet when using your PMD

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Though helmets are compulsory for cyclists, the rule does not apply to riders of e-scooters or other PMDs, as these devices are not meant to be used on the road in the first place. However, riders of such devices should seriously consider practicing this good habit: 

 

A good helmet greatly reduces the risk of serious head and brain injuries, as it helps absorb any impact to the head. You need to protect those brain cells of yours – We know we don’t have too much to spare ourselves.

 

7. Stay and offer information in an accident

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If you get into an accident, whether it’s minor or major, always remember to stop, offer help, tend to the injured, exchange particulars (name, NRIC, address, contact number, insurer details if any), and make a police report.

 

Do not: Ride away like a coward. Singapore is home to many religions, and a lot of gods. We’re not positive that you’ll be able to evade all of their combined omniscience.

 

8. Always give way to pedestrians

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Yes, we get that you might be in a rush, but when around pedestrians, you there, on the device which makes you faster than the average public path user, must always do the following:

  • Watch your speed and go slow around others
  • Keep left on paths unless overtaking
  • Walk your device in crowded areas
  • Slow down when approaching bus stops and intersections of public paths

9. Keep to the right paths

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The road has its rules, and so do public paths. It’s very important to keep a safe distance from other path users, especially when you’re overtaking. And if you are indeed overtaking, it’s completely unacceptable to not gently alert others using an appropriate device like a bell (no, your shouty throat is not considered a device). Do also signal your intention to change course or make a turn ahead of time.

 

 

10. Practice good manners when overtaking

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The road has its rules, and so do public paths. It’s very important to keep a safe distance from other path users, especially when you’re overtaking. And if you are indeed overtaking, it’s completely unacceptable to not gently alert others using an appropriate device like a bell (no, your shouty throat is not considered a device). Do also signal your intention to change course or make a turn ahead of time.

11. Use lights when on your PMD or PAB 

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If you’ve got a black device, have a penchant for dark clothing, and do not have a light, what are you doing? It’s never safe to be using your device at night without a decent light, simply because drivers on the road won’t be able to see you, and neither will unsuspecting pedestrians. That said, please avoid shining your light into the faces of innocent path users – You’re not Indiana Jones in an ancient treasure cave. 

 

12. Both eyes, hands, ears, please

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We get it, you need your other hand for when your crush calls you, or when your backside gets itchy and you need to have a good long scratch, right? Wrong! We don’t care how scratchy your seat is, or how good your new Tinder match looks – Keep both hands firmly on your handlebars, and always have your phone appropriately mounted if you need to use it.

PS. Keep both your eyes and ears on the road as well. We’re sorry, but no hit track is worth your being deaf to the world and possibly causing a silly accident.

 

13. Park your PMD or PAB securely

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Park your devices at designated parking places such as bicycle racks and yellow boxes, and do not leave your device where it can obstruct others. Do also be sure to securely lock your PAB or PMD to prevent it from being stolen.

We hope these 13 road safety tips for e-Scooter, PMD and PAB riders in Singapore will help you traverse our public paths like the courteous lady or gentlemen that we know you are. Remember, it’s simply no fun for pedestrians if they need to dash to get out of your way. Stay safe, amigos, and may the (PMD) force be with you.

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