Friday, April 13, 2018

E-bikes, E-scooters, PMDs: Are No Easy Riders. Dangerous?

Dangerous Machines?

For many years vehicles can weave a dangerous path if they speed on our roads but even with the traffic cops so tough and legislation so strict, we still have our share of accidents. 

Today what has been occurring on the roads is now happening on our pedestrian paths, footpaths or five-foot way, perhaps on a different level but the dangers are there. The authorities are not taking action fast enough.

These motorised two-wheelers are 
hogging the roads and pedestrian walkways. PMDs (Personal Mobility Devices), e-bikes, motorised bicycles, push-scooters, mopeds and self-balancing-electric scooters can be very dangerous if not properly controlled.
Stay safe, light up your machine

It's fine if riders follow the rules but situations are uneasy because four factors are felt when they use their machines indiscriminately on footpaths. Riders travel:

1) like greased lightnin',

2) at night without lights,

3) without a bicycle bell,

4) without a crash helmet.

Anyone could suffer injuries if knocked down. For Seniors, it can be fatal!  According to the newspapers, a few were in trouble.  
Shouldn't riders go through a training course before they are allowed to use them in public? 

Are we going to wait for more accidents to occur before tighter legislation is enforced?  The machines aren't dangerous if the riders are careful.

A Bicycle Built For Two by Nat King Cole was a hit song from 1892. Daisy Bell it was called also.

Riders Beware. You Must:

a) Watch out for pedestrians all the time,
b) Control machine well,
c) Move carefully,
d) Have a bicycle bell,
e) Wear reflective clothes.
f) Wear a crash helmet.

Glorified Machines?

Many pop songs from the west glorify motorcycles but forget the dangers these machines could pose on their riders and others.  

Remember some of these songs from the 60's and 70's about motorcycles?

Vincent Black Lightning -Richard Thompson -1952

Leader Of The Pack - Shangri-Las - 1964
Little Honda - The Hondells - 1964

The Motor Cycle Song - Arlo Guthrie - 1967
Born To Be Wild -Steppenwolf - 1968
Ballad of Easy Rider - Roger McGuinn - 1969

Midnight Rider - The Allman Brothers - 1970
Eazy Rider - Jimi Hendrix - 1971
Too Old To Rock, Too Young To Die - Jethro Tull - 1976

Bat Out of Hell - Meat Loaf - 1977
Born To Lose - Motorhead/Ironhorse - 1977
Motor Cycle Mama - Neil Young - 1978
How nice if all of us had some decency and think of others on our footpaths.
'Little Honda' by The Beach Boys. Video by Bonneville66. Thank you.

It is a bit of an exaggeration to compare huge motor-bikes to our motorised two-wheelers but the end result could be similar, that is, people may get hurt because the machine can be dangerous if the driver isn't careful.


1) Click Comment page below to read.

2) According to many readers, Singapore does not have a bicycle culture. Read this connection:

Images/Gif: Google.
YouTube: Video.



Hi, Andy

In my humble opinion, all motorised vehicles regardless of the number of wheels or even no wheels can be dangerous. The problem is not the vehicles but the riders, drivers or users. Cheerio


Just In:

An E-scooter rider arrested for knocking down 11-year-old girl in Pasir Ris.
"Her jaw was misaligned and her gums appeared to be pushed back" - said the father.

Article by Ng Huiwen from Straits Times.


Those who caused hurt to others with the reckless use of these motorized bikes should be castrated! And the overpaid and overrated civil servant who approved such machines to be used publicly should also be castrated!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I think many of us feel strongly too about these machines.

I have occasions to walk along the pedestrian paths during my evening walks and have encountered them many times.

That's why I wrote this article, to warn friends and readers alike. Just be careful. You will never know.

Thanks, John, Larry and Michael for the immediate response. We are all seniors.


I think 2 died from getting knocked by 2 wheelers.

So riders and walkers must learn to watch out for each other.

I'm very careful when walking along paths. Stay on the side as much as you can. Other than that it's bad luck.

In Buddhism, it's called the art of avoiding.



It shouldn't have been allowed here, in the first place. Take action against the source (the importers) or worse come to worse, limit it to the main roads.

In the HDB estates, the majority of the riders are weaving in and out of human traffic during crowded periods, as if they were racing the F1 Formula Grand Prix.


Don't wait till someone prominent or the immediate relative gets seriously injured before action is taken!


Most of these motorised 2 wheelers riders r young n reckless. They ride fast in crowded places. There were 2 instances I witnessed. One night I trailed an e-bike along AMK Ave. This guy was riding at abt 70 kph. Another time about midnite another e-scooterist speeding at 90 kph on the SLE. At these speeds if they run onto potholes they will go flying n may die on impact.



6-year-old boy hit from the back at Punggol Park.
Taken to KK Children's Hospital.
Wheels and handlebars of e-scooter were crushed.
A 40-year-old man was the cause of the accident.

Shin Min Daily News, Singapore.


Housewife on life support after a collision with e-scooter, Sep 2016
Mdm Ang, a 53-year-old housewife, was returning from grocery shopping on a Saturday morning when an electric scooter collided into her. Severely injured, she was sent to Changi General Hospital, where she underwent two brain operations. She suffered multiple mini-strokes and entered a coma after the surgeries.

Youth dies after falling off e-scooter, March 2016
Mr Sam Koh, 22, died after falling off his electric scooter while on his way from East Coast Park to Marina Bay Sands, in March 2016. He suffered a broken skull and bleeding in his brain. Although he was sent to Tan Tock Seng hospital, he died there without regaining consciousness.

French chiropractor dies after falling from e-scooter, November 2017
A 38-year-old chiropractor fell of his e-scooter and died at the Green Connecting Bridge along East Coast Park Service Road. Mr Matthieu Thomas Maugueret, a French national, had just gotten his device four days before and was on his way home.

Mr Maugueret had a broken skull and severe head injuries. He died without regaining consciousness 5 days after his accident. He was not wearing a helmet.



Truly agreed. government action is inevitable as some of these 'idiots' are going around without any concern for the kids, women or seniors using the footpath or five-foot way. I personally had witnessed many close misses during my few visits back there.

They were even going around the opposite direction of the roads too, endangering not only themselves but other road users.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to all who responded. Hopefully, someone in authority could enforce certain rules quickly and reduce the nuisance caused by e-scooters.

SPYeo said...

Any mode or means of transportation or communication can be our good slaves or bad masters...
When the fire was first discovered by man, it was man's best friend, serving him better with more food varieties and protecting him and his family from harm and danger. But the moment man exploits its potential unscrupulously for his own ends, it becomes a "bad master".

A machine is still a machine, lifeless but useful. It is the user (man) who controls it. If he is civic-minded and law-abiding and considerate, all problems are solved.

anonymous said...

Three men who zipped along a road in Changi on their electric scooters at speeds of more than 100kmh have been arrested for dangerous driving.

The men, aged between 32 and 37, were on their e-scooters along Nicoll Drive on Oct 14 at about 2.05am, the police told The Straits Times on Thursday.


FL said...

I concur with Michael Bangar that these machines should not be imported into our country. We are a small country with already land constraint. Our population has increased over the last 20 years or so and also we have many senior citizens. I did suggest that they should not be battery-operated but manually, using leg pedalling, e.g. a bicycle. Then, the speed can be controlled. Otherwise, the govt should get the overseas suppliers to calibrate the machines so that its max or top speed is set, say, at a reasonable slow speed, perhaps, 15 km/hr. Using these machines on footpaths is very danagerous due to young kids, frailed senior citizens, pregnant ladies, etc. Thank you.

SUNNY WEE said...

Spot on Andy.

Guess it is not safe to walk around anymore unless punitive actions are taken against motorised two-wheeler riders for breaking the law.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Many, many thanks, Yeo, Sunny and FL. for your comments.

In my case, as a Senior, if I am hit by an e-bike at a tremendous speed, I may not survive because some seniors have a bone condition called OSTEOPOROSIS (disease causing bones to become weaker and break easily).

Bed-ridden for life.

Anonymous said...

Agreed it is the rider problem. I would think that they shld take basic driving test.


Just my humble two cents:

Whatever happened to LKY's rugged society? We didn't get to see this age if we didn't take his advice, i.e., walk, run or ride a bicycle!

Today, everyone, young able-bodied teens, are all taking the easy way out with PMDs. Of course, in the wrong hands... These motorised vehicles can maim or even kill someone on the road.

This last minute decision to ride a bicycle. Yes, go on the road where they are supposed to be. Pedestrians on the sidewalks only.

Just walking their kids to schools, parent and child have to contend with adult cyclists heading towards them. What is going on? Our small walk-ways have turned into a highway for bicycle users.

As an example, expatriate students on route to INSEAD INSTITUTE, shouldn't they be riding, single fine along the left side of the road?


These motorized devices are a hazard simply because the people that use them do not have a basic idea of road/pathway rules. Any operation of a mechanically assisted device for transport that requires more than the use of two legs should be considered a hazard to pedestrians unless proper safety measures are taken.

Anything more than the use of two legs is a mechanical enhancement Motor vehicle, motorcycle operators all have to undergo a licensing process to ensure proper handling, operation, observation of highway code and insurance.

Likewise, any other mechanically assisted device, such motorized scooter or even the humble foot pedalled bicycle should require the necessary instruction, licensing and public insurance as that required of motor vehicles and motorcycles. Unless separate pathways are available, shared ones with pedestrians are hazardous as riders of these devices are undisciplined and weave in and out of pedestrians at times at excessive speeds.

Arguably in the absence of separate pathways, these devices have to use the roadways used by other vehicles. This exposes the users of mobility devices to danger from large vehicles. As this may not also be a solution, the best approach would be a licensed approach and like cars and motor bikes, subject to fines for not observing the rules of use and parking.

Finally for all users of motorized devices and all others including bicycles must use at least a helmet for protection.
PS. The use of mobile phones or headphones while riding should also be an offence. Similar to drivers of vehicles.

Cheers Andy
Sent from my iPhone


"It was alarming to hear the Transport Minister's revelation in Parliament in January that about 3 accidents involving users of PMDs occur on public roads and paths every week."

"Perhaps closed-circuit television cameras could be installed at strategic locations."

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan.
The Straits Times

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

I was surprised to see the great growth in the use of these devices in Singapore during my recent visit. They hardly exist where I live(Darwin),although there is far more room to use them here. We have shared pathways in many places in Darwin, which means that bicycles and pedestrians share one pathway. This usually works very well because the paths are wide and divided and people are used to the idea and keep to the left. The trouble is with visitors whop wander all over the track. We do get people using fast electric bicycles and mopeds on these tracks sometimes and that is a worry because they go too fast. There is a 20 km speed limit on the pathways, but who is going to police that?




E-scooter rider was hurt in crash with a bus and taken to KTPHospital. He is 86 years old with multiple injuries after the crash. The bus front had its windscreen cracked.

The Straits Times
Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
Lydia Lum
HOME Page B6.

one lucky pedestrain said...

we used to have these kids on skateboards zipping among cars when they first came out. i told a cop why they did NFA about it, and he lamely said, "dud there is no highway traffic law in jurisdiction or whatever gibberish these ppl in badges talk in jargon". but nowadays they don't seem to be around in the street. evenwith those battery chariots. i guess the law must have changed since then , some 12 years later and many dead bodies scraped off the concrete LMAO
the problem is like those idiots on mobile and bluetooth driving and running through pedestrains crossing. i don't know how many times i see pedestrains screaming out at these drivers. other problem being, unlike motorbikes , scooters and cars, you don't need a licence to be on the streets. then alike, even with driver's test, some fools are still a danger behind the steering wheel. don't rely on the sign saying 100$ fine
to assume that will get them not to run you down and get your body to be scrape off the concrete. it's no doubt safer to be a gull flying up there in the blue than a pedestrain crossing the street.

joey said...

Did Rita passed away on july 19th 2014 as reported?I was having a lunch with my sibblings cekebrating my sis birthday but d entire day was feelung uneasy as if sumthing unauspucious juz happened but i kept to myself try not to show it less spoilt d mood of it dat rita tryin to tell me goodbye?I jyz wanba cfm d actual date of her passing.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

This e-bike craze is serious. Hopefully, something is done quickly before more complications arise. With Summertime Blues around the corner, more e-bikes will be around the HDB and other public pathways in Singapore, as they cool off with the winds in their faces...

Thanking again all the blog readers who wrote with much concern and definitely, worry.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

This all reminds of the new road safety campaign I noticed when I was Indonesia a few years back. There were signs everywhere that read "Jatuh di aspal tidak seindah jatuh cinta" (Falling on the asphalt isn't as beautiful as falling in love). I thought it was pretty funny, but don't know if it prevented any accidents.

Best wishes and keep safe


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Steve,
You speak in a positive tone. And that's what we need sometimes, especially with the young 'uns.

I think with a sign like what the Indonesians put up could be effective with a gentle crowd but I am not sure about the Singaporean rider.

It's a prevention, which is better than a cure (after the hospital incidents).
Food for thought and I hope the Ministry in charge reads this.

Thanks, Steve for another way to resolve this rather unpleasant issue.