Man who broke arm in e-scooter crash now safety advocate
Man who broke arm, scarred face in e-scooter accident now a safety advocate
He used to wear a cap on the 14km commute from his home in Yishun to Paya Lebar on his electric scooter (e-scooter).
But an accident last year changed the attitude of the e-scooter shop after-sales customer care executive, who wanted to be known only as Mr Arif.
Now, the 43-year-old has become a safety advocate to his clients and wears a helmet when he rides.
"I used to think it was safe (to not wear a helmet) because I don't go very fast," Mr Arif told The New Paper yesterday
The issue of safe riding was thrust into the spotlight following the death of an e-scooter rider over the weekend.
Mr Sam Koh, 23, fell off his scooter in the wee hours of Saturday and died the next day from serious head injuries.
He was not wearing a helmet at the time.
The accident at Marina East Park Connector reminded Mr Arif of his own accident in March last year.
To him, it was a sobering reminder to never be complacent, no matter how many times he has travelled on a particular road.
That night, Mr Arif was on his e-scooter going home after work when he hit a kerb along Lentor Road.
"I didn't notice the kerb. I hit it and my wheel got stuck."
The impact was so great, Mr Arif was thrown off his e-scooter.
"I fell sideways and my face hit the ground.
"It was bleeding so badly that I didn't dare look at my face," he said.
His colleague, who was on an e-scooter behind him, helped him and called the emergency services.
Mr Arif was taken to the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
He fractured his right arm and has a cut above his right temple. The cut is now a scar.
After that accident, Mr Arif has improved his safety gear.
He now wears a helmet and has more bright lights installed on his e-scooter - two in front and one at the rear. He even wears gloves.
Mr Arif explained: "Safety and stability while riding is now my utmost priority."
He now shares this story often with his customers, hoping they stay safe while riding their e-scooters.
EXPERTS' SAFETY ADVICE
Experts suggested helmets, road safety courses and other safety gear as ways to minimise injuries or avoid accidents.
Helmets should be highly recommended on the roads, pedestrian paths and shared paths, said Mr Steven Lim, who sits on the Active Mobility Advisory Panel.
Currently, helmets are recommended only for cyclists on roads because they travel at higher speeds, compared to those on pedestrian or shared paths, said the president of the Safe Cycling Taskforce.
But a helmet is the best protection against head injuries, he said.
Mr Lim said: "Unexpected things can happen when you are riding. For example, the path could be slippery, or an animal or child could suddenly appear. It is best to protect yourself against such risks."
Road safety expert Gerard Pereira suggested that vendors selling personal mobility devices (PMDs) conduct classes to educate new users on road safety and respecting other road users.
"It all boils down to the individual, and the responsibility of creating a safe environment for all is upon him," said Mr Pereira, 58.
Ms Kelita Yeo, 24, an e-scooter sales and marketing executive, recommended appropriate safety gear - helmet and blinker lights - for those riding PMDs.
Before customers leave with their e-scooters, Ms Yeo also reminds them to practise safe riding by wearing covered shoes and not using earphones while riding.
Proposed rules for personal mobility devices
The Active Mobility Advisory Panel has submitted the following recommendations for various kinds of personal mobility devices (PMDs), including electric scooters:
l Use of all personal mobility devices except e-bikes be allowed on footpaths, and cycling and shared paths.
l Speed limit of 15kmh on footpaths and 25kmh on shared paths and cycling paths.
l PMDs must be equipped with lights (both front and rear). It has to be turned on during hours of darkness.
l PMDs must have a maximum speed of 25kmh and cannot exceed 20kg in weight and 70cm in length.