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Singapore— A nineteen-year-old male has been arrested for suspected involvement in using a personal mobility device (PMD) on top of a walkway shelter.
A video of the young man riding his PMD on the walkway roofs had been uploaded to the All Singapore Stuff Facebook page on Tuesday, November 19. It bore the caption “No riding on pavement. No riding on grass. Ride on shelter.”
The video has been widely viewed and shared.
The police announced that they arrested the young man the following day, classifying the case as a rash act. The case is now under investigation.
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The young man reportedly used his device on top of the walkway shelter along Lompang Road. Police officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division identified the young man after viewing footage from police cameras as well as interviewing people on the ground.
The maximum penalty for a rash act can be a fine of S$2,500, six months jail time, or both, since, under the Penal Code, a rash act endangers the life or personal safety of other individuals.
Since the announcement earlier this month in Parliament that e-scooters would be banned on public pathways, PMD users have been endeavouring to find ways to get around the law.
If anyone is caught using their e-scooters on public pathways they can face a three-month jail sentence, a S$2,000 fine, or possibly both.
At the moment, errant riders will mostly be issued warnings, but beginning from next year, there will be zero tolerance for violators.
After the announcement of the ban, some PMD riders attempted to get around it by using their devices on the grass. However, the National Parks Board (NParks) said that anyone endeavouring to get around the new ban by using the grass along sidewalks as a path could receive a fine of up to S$5,000.
Permission is required if a person wishes to ride their Personal Mobility Device (PMD) on grassy areas, otherwise, this act is considered to be an offence under the Parks and Trees Act, according to a report from Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
One day after the ban was announced, numerous videos were posted online showing people riding their PMDs on the grass beside footpaths, in an attempt to circumvent the ban.
A spokesperson from NParks said, “NParks advises users of PMDs not to ride on turf. It will damage the turf and lead to soil erosion. The uneven ground may also be a safety concern to PMD users.”
Other PMD users tried to ride on drain gratings. However, the national water agency PUB, which oversees the drain gratings, has said, “Damaging any drain or storm water drainage system is considered an offence under the Sewerage and Drainage Act. Those convicted may be fined up to $40,000 or jailed up to three months, or both.”
Dr Lam Pin Min, the Senior Minister of State who announced that e-scooters would be banned in Singapore’s public footpaths, has said that the decision to ban the e-scooters has mainly been a safety issue.
“It has not been a straightforward nor an easy decision, but public safety always comes first and should never be at the expense of the young and elderly amongst us.
We hope to have Singaporeans’ understanding and support on this new policy and would urge all PMD users to continue to exercise safe and responsible behaviour when using their devices on other permissible areas such as cycling paths and park connector networks (PCNs),” Dr Lam wrote on his Facebook account. -/TISG
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