Please! Drive safe, ride safe, be safe!

By November 20, 2016Current

TL;DR – Even if you have a death wish, don’t drag anyone else down with you!

LTA officer checking power assisted mobility device for illegal modifications (via TODAYonline)

LTA officer checking power assisted mobility device for illegal modifications (via TODAYonline)

Another tragedy struck a few days ago. Another person riding a electric personal mobility device was killed while riding on the road. This time round, it was a 62 year-old man riding an e-bike.

It wasn’t reported whether the e-bike that the elderly man was riding complied with the LTA regulations on e-bikes. We are also not sure if the elderly man was wearing a helmet as required by LTA. We saw a video of the aftermath of that accident. It was… gut churning. Sure to make you lose your appetite. From the video footage we saw, his head was quite badly hurt and parts of his, ermmmm, grey-matters-turned-red were splattered on the road.

Poster with requirements for Power Assisted Bikes (aka e-bikes) by LTA

Poster with requirements for Power Assisted Bikes (aka e-bikes) by LTA

As reported by CNA, the 54 year-old driver of the tipper truck that collided with the e-bike was arrested for causing death by a negligent act. Investigations are still ongoing. But it is highly likely that the driver of the tipper truck would at least lose his license. That means he would lose his livelihood. Consequently, his family would lose a source of income.

One accident, many tragic consequences.

And this isn’t the only such accident. Just last month, three electric bicycle riders were involved in an accident with a container truck. One was pronounced dead on the scene, while another was pronounced dead at the hospital. The third person was fortunate enough to escape with some leg injuries.

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Similarly, the 34 year-old driver of the container truck was arrested for causing death by negligent act. He is also likely to lose his licence, and with that, his job and source of income. Does he have any family that depends on his income? Perhaps.

Again, one accident, many tragic consequences.

Were the drivers at fault? Perhaps. Maybe they weren’t taking enough safety precautions. Maybe they didn’t check their blind spots. Maybe they didn’t check their sideview mirrors often enough. But they are driving heavy vehicles. The area of their blind spots is huge.

Anyone who has a license (of any class) would know to be extra cautious around those heavy vehicles. Because it’s really difficult for a driver of a heavy vehicle to see you, even if you are in a car. What more if you are on a e-bike or e-scooter?

I wonder if the riders of the e-bikes involved in those accidents have licenses of any class. If they have, then they would have gone through a driving or riding test conducted by the traffic police and they ought to have better road sense. But if they don’t, then perhaps that is where the issue lies. Maybe they don’t really know how to be on the roads safely.

As a driver, I can’t stand it when I see cyclists or riders of e-bikes or e-scooters zip around the road as if it’s their god-given right to do whatever they want. It pisses me no end to see them flash that smug look of self-entitlement, as if they expect me to go out of my way to avoid them while they keep doing stupid things. Stupid things like zip right in front of my moving vehicle without any warning whatsoever. Like… this guy.

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See how he cut right in front of the bus? It seemed as if he had a death wish. Imagine if the bus had hit him and he died. The bus driver would certainly lose his license… I think you know where I’m going with this.

These electronic personal mobility devices (PMDs) are great for last mile connectivity, especially in hot and humid Singapore. It would be great if there were dedicated paths for bicycles and approved electronic PMDs (i.e. those that don’t go at ridiculously high speeds). But being on the road is a whole different story altogether.

I think if the riders of these electronic PMDs  want to be on the road, then they should go through some proper training. They should be made to get licenses. And for those who ride recklessly, we need to have harsher penalties for people who ride recklessly on these electronic PMDs. There should also be stricter enforcement. Because they aren’t just endangering their own lives, they are hurting other people too. That is my biggest issue with people who use our roads recklessly.

Yes. I know. This doesn’t just apply to riders of those electronic PMDs. It applies to all road users. As my friend said,

“If you want to be stupid, and ride or drive recklessly, and end up killing yourself, go ahead. It’s your life. But you have no right to hurt someone else, kill someone else, or cause someone else to lose their job, another family to lose their sole source of income by your stupidity and recklessness.”

While I’m at it, let me just say one more thing. The holiday season is upon us. There’ll be much feasting, drinking, and partying. While we are at it, let us be responsible road users. If you drink, don’t drive. Better yet, don’t drive to drink. But if you really have to drive to drink, there are valet services that will drive you and your car home. They aren’t that expensive. And for a small fee, they can drop your friends off along the way too. Use them.

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Be responsible.

Even if you have a death wish, don’t drag anyone else down with you.


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Author CRC

Working on a startup is a scary crazy process. To destress, I write random stuff.

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