E-scooter in accident that killed 65-year-old woman was non-compliant: LTA

An undated photo of Ong Bee Eng (left) and a non-compliant PMD. (PHOTOS: Chinfung Ko, LTA/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — The e-scooter that collided into a 65-year-old cyclist, who later passed away from her injuries, was a non-compliant personal mobility device (PMD), said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday (26 September).

Ong Bee Eng died on Wednesday, four days after the accident on Saturday night at Bedok North.

The accident had left Ong in a coma on life support at the Changi General Hospital Surgical Intensive Care Unit. She had suffered a serious brain injury as well as fractures in her ribs and collar bone.

“Based on checks by LTA on the PMD involved in this accident, the PMD involved was a non-compliant PMD which exceeded the prescribed weight and width limit for use on public paths under the Active Mobility Act,” said the LTA.

“The unregistered device should not have been used on public paths.”

It added that it has “zero tolerance towards those who show flagrant disregard for our regulations and endanger public safety”.

The e-scooter rider, a 20-year-old man, was arrested after the accident. The police on Wednesday said that they are investigating the accident as a case of causing death by rash act, which carries a jail term of up to five years and/or a fine.

Additionally, as the man was riding a non-compliant PMD on a public path, the LTA said that it is investigating the case under the Active Mobility Act.

All PMDs have to meet the device criteria of maximum weight of 20kg, maximum width of 70cm and maximum capped speed of 25km/h before they can be used on public paths.

Failure to comply with the criteria will result in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or jail term of three months for a first-time offence.

“We are saddened by the passing of Madam Ong Bee Eng and would like to extend our condolences to the family,” said the LTA.

Ong’s accident led to a surge in signatories for a five-month-old petition on Change.org calling for the ban of PMDs and e-bikes.

The number of signatures surged within 24 hours to over 37,000 as of 11pm on Thursday, from about 21,000, after Ong’s death was reported.

Its creator, a Zachary Tan, wrote on the petition page: “In an attempt to make (Ong’s death) the very last PMD related tragedy, I have sent an email to our Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam as well as Minister of Transport, Dr Lam Pin Min.”

A total of 228 accidents involving PMDs on public paths were reported in 2017 and 2018. Of these accidents, 196 cases involved injuries.

Ong’s family are appealing for eye-witnesses to the accident.

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