Banning of PMD / e-bike in Singapore
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Update: Once this petition reaches 17,000 signatures (the number proven to push authorities to take action as per the Watain concert saga), I will be writing an email to LTA with the link of this petition included. I will also cc PM Lee Hsien Loong, Mr K Shanmugam (as this involves altering of our law) as well as all media outlets (Straits Times, Lian He Zao Bao etc.). I believe all of us want the prospects of a ban to be thoroughly examined in Parliament. I will not rest until this has at least been debated and the cries of pain of the victims who have been knocked down be heard by our leaders. So stay tuned.
E-scooters / e-bikes have been a menace on the streets of Singapore lately. We have lost count of the number of lives ruined by irresponsible riders. Brain damage, permanent physical disability... the list goes on for a list of penalty endured by innocent people whose crime is that they appear at the wrong place, and at the wrong time.
In the latest incidents, a man suffered brain injury after being knocked down by an e-bike rider. You may read the full news here:
A child was also injured along Orchard Road by an irresponsible e-scooter rider:
Now, do you know what's the scary thing? No one knows who will be the next victim. You could be next. Your precious parents who cared for you and watched you grow up could be next. Getting married next week and looking forward to a blissful life with your loved one? Nah, dream on! How dare you forget that your beloved fiance needs to pay the price of someone's irresponsibility by staying in bed as a comatose patient for the rest of his/her life? Your marriage should take a back seat to the rights of PMD riders.
You might say that not all PMD owners are irresponsible people and hence it would be unfair to impose a blanket ban. Well, not all gun owners are trigger happy murderers, but guns are banned here. Not all people who consume chewing gum are habitual vandals, but that has been banned too. Not all Watain concert goers are Satanic bigots, but that was banned as well. Not all alcohol drinkers will start a riot after 10pm, yet the sale of alcohol is prohibited after that timing. Could LTA thus apply the same thought process when banning e-scooters and e-bikes?
Right now, we can't even walk on any pavement without fearing for our lives. It should not be our responsibility to look out for vehicles when we are walking on pavements (see how ridiculous it sounds?) We want back the times when we could feel safe after crossing the road when we have already done our due diligence to check the traffic. Our kids should play and feel safe in places that are not accessible to vehicles.
Fellow Singaporeans, enough is enough. It's time to do something to prevent more tragedy from happening. If Watain's concert could be banned because of the power of the people's voices, I hope that this petition, which has the potential to save lives will achieve the same, if not bigger effect than the one in that saga. To the 17000 people who signed the petition against Watain's concert, you have shown how powerful petitions are, and I would like to recruit your help again, in addition to thousands more Singaporeans who are anxious about their safety.
But then, if you do not care about the safety and welfare of your loved ones, I beg you to ignore this petition.
The solution is simple. LTA should ban the ownership of e-scooters/e-bikes and completely halt the import of such devices. A law should be passed to make the mere possession of e-scooters / e-bikes a punishable crime.
How about those who have already purchased a PMD? I am drawing inspirations from New Zealand's recent firearms buy back scheme, where assault rifle owners surrender their weapons in exchange for cash. Similarly, LTA could initiate a compulsory buy back campaign where e-scooter/e-bike owners are required by law to surrender their devices in exchange for monetary compensation. I understand many of you will be concerned that such a campaign is expensive and will take a toll on our taxpayers' reserves, channeling away funds that could have been used for better purposes to improve the lives of Singaporeans. For this, I would like to propose that the surrendered PMDs be scrapped and the recyclable materials be sold to recycling plants or overseas to offset the monetary cost incurred.
Speed limit or age limit do not work. Reason is because it still gives people a chance to break the law by secretly riding as an underaged person or illegally speeding when no law enforcement officers are present.
Sure, some of you might argue about how a ban will affect the livelihood of food deliverymen. Perhaps GrabFood, Food Panda and Deliveroo could simply carry out their deliveries through motorcycles that are confined only to the roads and are operated by licensed riders (like Pizza hut and Mcdonald's). The onus is thus on the food deliverymen to acquire the conventional vehicle license if they really want this job, just as any truck or van drivers would do. Yes, the cost of operations to their company will definitely increase, leading to a hike in price for your next order. But are any cost savings really worth the risk to someone's life? Remember, while you sit comfortably at your home waiting for your food and reveling at the cheap delivery fee, the next victim of another e-scooter crash could be your family member and it is your hands which will be stained by their blood.
Sufficient pressure, however, needs to be exerted on the relevant authorities for these solutions to be realized and be followed up with appropriate measures. This, I cannot accomplish alone for I am but just one of the million average Singaporeans, with no influence as an individual. This, is when I would like to seek every single one of your help, to come together as one united voice to make the recent incident in Orchard Road, the very last e-scooter related accident.
But ultimately, the choice is yours to make a stand. I cannot decide for you whether you love your family members enough to support a change that will enhance their safety out in the streets.
I started this petition because…
Personally, I myself have had a number of experiences when I narrowly escaped serious injury not because the riders were alert and swerved away from me in time, but because I turned my head at the right moment and managed to avoid them.
Those experiences made me realize how easy it was to lose my life even when I'm walking on the pavement built for pedestrians and when I'm supposed to feel safe. As such, I have been rather cautious everyday and have been consciously checking the pavements while walking on them, which I feel is a psychological burden wrongfully imposed on me by e-scooter and e-bike riders.
Perhaps my paranoia will save me. But my loved ones and friends might not be that lucky. Hence, I fear that one day I'll lose them to such accidents. I hope things will change if the law could be amended to make possession of e-scooters and e-bikes illegal. I do not want to wait till either myself or my loved ones to suffer any mishap before any actions are taken.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke
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