Singapore

Some e-bikers still flouting rules

TNP observes site of e-bike crash over two days to note e-biker behaviour

There were surprisingly few e-bikes at the Cecil Street area during The New Paper's six hours of staking out the scene of a fatal crash on Nov 18.

In two days, we saw seven e-bikers.

Mr Ishak Hakmat, 49, a motorcycle courier, said he used to see seven to eight e-bikers a day, but hardly sees any now.From 10.30am to 2.15pm on Monday and from 1.50pm to 4.30pm on Tuesday, TNP observed the 600m stretch of Cecil Street and Collyer Quay from the junction at Cross Street to the slip road to Battery Road.

Four of the seven e-bikers we saw wore helmets.

All seven followed other rules - they rode on the extreme left of the roads and did not attempt to overtake or cut through traffic.

None seemed to be going faster than the 25kmh e-bike speed limit.

The e-bikers TNP spotted were not available for a comment, but motorcycle couriers said that e-bikers in the area generally ride safely.

One of them, Mr Jimmy Tan, 67, said: "E-bikers obey the law in this area."

Some motorcycle couriers think that e-bikers were scared off by the Nov 18 accident, the latest in a spate of e-biker deaths. (See report above.)

At least one company that sees e-bikes and bicycles as a major part of its expansion plans includes a training programme for staff to use them safely.

Foodpanda Singapore chief executive officer Jakob Angele said: "We do have an increasing fleet of e-bike riders and cyclists and this is an area we are investing in to grow further."

Foodpanda staff take a one-day rider safety training course, which includes handling the e-bike and looking out for dangerous areas.

They then receive a handbook and ongoing training.

Despite recent deaths linked to e-bikes and other personal mobility devices (PMDs), the trend of using such forms of transport is growing, since they offer a cheap alternative to motorcycles and cars.

Transport researcher and associate professor at National University of Singapore Lee Der Horng said the fact that people are using such devices is not the main issue.

"It is important to have a very well-established infrastructure so PMDs can fit in nicely," he said.

LAND-SCARCE

Although Dr Lee hopes more cycling lanes will be built here, he said it might not be possible because Singapore is land-scarce.

But several motorists told TNP that e-bikes should be banned from roads for safety reasons.

Mr Muhammad Anang, a 56-year-old motorcycle courier, said: "It's not safe. Having a helmet is secondary, (in the first place) they don't have any speed.

"So in dangerous situations, they cannot stop and cannot accelerate."

E-bike fatalities

NOV 18, 2016

A 62-year-old e-biker was pronounced dead at the scene after he was hit by a tipper truck and dragged along Cecil Street. The truck driver was arrested for causing the death by performing a negligent act.

OCT 27, 2016

Three men aged between 17 and 25, were riding their e-bikes near the junction of Pandan Crescent along West Coast Highway when a trailer hit them from behind.

Two were killed and the youngest survived. The trailer driver was arrested.

DEC 24, 2015

Odd job labourer Ang Thiam Beng was riding an e-bike along Pioneer Road North and was making a turn when a lorry hit him. Mr Ang died two days later from his injuries.

personal mobility deviceDriving Offenceaccident