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Ong Yong Xin, Seanne

Argumentative Essay

ENG 105

14 October 2018

The use of PMD is popular both with the elderly and the young in Singapore; however, in the

face of mounting criticism, the need to create stricter regulations, or even a ban, seems to be

gaining ground (becoming more popular and accepted). What is your position on this issue?

Justify your stand with relevant reasons and evidence.

The use of personal mobility devices (PMD) is popular both with the elderly and the young in

Singapore; however, in the face of mounting criticism, the need to create stricter regulations,

or even a ban, seems to be gaining ground. In light of this issue, there should not be stricter

regulations gaining ground due a multitude of factors. The government has already set laws

that are sufficiently strict, the effectiveness of continually strict laws may backfire instead of

displaying positive trends. In hindsight, other permutations of options could have been better

explored in order to fully expound on the potential of PMD on the efficiency of our public

transport system.

Previously, Data released by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) earlier this year also

showed that e-scooters were involved in 40 fires last year, an increase of nearly 350 percent

from nine such cases in 2016. These high incidence rates have led to the introduction of the

new law: compulsory use of only the UL2272 PMD model by 2021. Furthermore, ra9tes of
incidences plummeted since the introduction of PMD, which led to safety conformations

introduced by the government.

New, stiffer penalties for contravening laws were also introduced. Those caught riding

recklessly can be fined up to S$5,000, or imprisoned for up to six months, or both. For failing

to provide personal particulars or render assistance in an accident, cyclists and device users

can be fined up to S$3,000 or imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both. If they cause injury to

others, they may also be charged under the Penal Code, and can be fined up to S$5,000, or

imprisoned for up to a year, or both.

There is no significant purpose in reinforcing and bringing up stricter law, reinforcement of

the penal code should be targeted to ensure that long term sustainable relationship develops

instead. Currently law imposed are relatively strict, and if we impose stricter laws, it is almost

like providing higher dose of medication to a patient who is immune to the previous dose of

drug. Perhaps, it would be more effective to provide a more holistic approach that would

allow our people to ease into these rules, then systematically handle this matter at hand when

it is less tricky to hand. For instance, those caught riding recklessly can be fined up to

S$5,000, or imprisoned for up to six months, or both. For failing to provide personal

particulars or render assistance in an accident, cyclists and device users can be fined up to

S$3,000 or imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both. From an article, PM mentioned

regarding [insert context] that there this "needs to be a balance when it comes to rules and

this is something that the Ministry of Transport seems to acknowledge as well".

The reinforcement of laws related to PMD should be aimed at achieving effective, long term

practical outcomes that would benefit the nation. By tackling the immediate safety issues at
hand through the reinforcement of stringent laws on its people, the government has not been

able to address the more pertinent issue: how can we integrate of the use of PMDs to improve

the transport system without restricting daily movement of its people? Although the use of

PMD is still permitted under legislation, the speed limit of 10km/h is almost better if you just

jog to your destination, or even more convenient if we had remain contented with the use of

public transport. To further this argument, by 2021 the use of PMD will only be limited to

UL2272 due to the fire breakout that occurred earlier in the year. As such, would the addition

of a ten thousand dollar UL2272 be worthwhile just so to increase your commuting speed to

10km/h for 3-4 years? In such circumstances, it does not seem feasible for us to offer the use

of PMDs to as an alternative to public transport in cases of breakdown, which is also a

pertinent issue in our transport system. The issues in the proliferation of these devices might

have been imposed by the installation of penal codes, however the functionality and use of

PMDs have been undermined for the very same reason.

While road safety could be effectively regulated with the introduction of stricter law

enforcement, it needs to strike a fine balance between riders' as well as pedestrians' safety and

comfort level. While stricter law enforcement to lower speed limits, restricting movements of

off-road PMDs use have effectively increased civilians safety, it has not considered the

flexibility of use of PMD riders. With such a speed limit being imposed on PMD users as

well as restrictions, it has limited the functionality and undermined the purposes of using a

PMD in the first place. It has also reflected the little trust and attitudes of the government

towards PMD. Falcon PEV's Mr Lee shared that “There are too many regulations and

restrictions and boundaries. To turn something so viable for a car-lite society into something

that is so complicated is a huge waste,” While rules and regulations indeed should not go

overboard, they certainly should be in place to ensure that only the right people - those who
realize the responsibility associated with using such devices continue to use them. With such

strict regimentation continually introduced, the use of PMD would soon be none but akin to a

call for ban.

On the other end of the spectrum, stricter regulations could serve as immediate safety nets

that would blanket the incidence rates and prevent further casualties. With stricter regulations

being imposed, even those they may seem harsh and hard to bite down by Singaporeans, it

has effectively simmered down the previous incidence rates. Furthermore, highly adapted

Singaporeans would eventually be able to accept and understand the purposes underlying the

implementation of such laws. Singapore is not alone in implementing rules for alternative

transportation modes, cities in the US and countries in Europe do so as well. Furthermore,

this could lead to very serious head injuries such as loss of consciousness, skull fracture,

haemorrhage, tissue damage and so on; if really unlucky get crushed. Recently, a 45 year old

woman had to undergo brain surgery after she was hit by an e-scooter as she stepped off an

overhead bridge. Thereafter, the suggestion that e-scooters should be more stringently

regulated, or even banned from footpaths altogether has been proposed by the parliamentary.

In addition, from January until September 2017, there were about 110 accidents involving

PMDs, 30 involved pedestrian on footpaths and walkways. With these alarming rates and

horror stories of incidences, it is evident that we are still some distance away from attaining

the desirable level of graciousness and consideration. To suppress these casualty rates and

make our roads safer, it could not be achieved through disciplinarian approach. Perhaps, we

also have to consider how we could truly engage the population to transform Singapore into

one example that demonstrates maturity and graciousness.


Perhaps, strict regulations could serve as immediate measures taken to ensure safety among

citizens. However in the long run, it is essential to instil a common sense and a sense of

responsibility and accountability among citizens. The regulations will be instrumental in

shaping the behaviours and reinforce mindsets, however it takes greater cultural maturity for

these changes and restrictions to be adhered with understanding.

All in all, while Singaporean are developing changing attitudes towards PMDs strict

regulations and stringent laws, this change in attitude is to be handled with meticulous care

especially when devising changes to existing laws. As an reiteration, we could take a less

minimalistic view towards this matter. Perhaps then, changes that are made would gain wider

and deeper acceptance amongst Singaporeans, and also benefit the greater good.