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Errant users a minority: Retailers

Videos of electric scooter users speeding have caused the public some concern.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a Facebook post last Wednesday that they have seized the e-scooters of two riders who were speeding and riding recklessly on roads.

However, industry experts told The New Paper that such e-scooter riders are in the minority.

“A very rare minority of our customers use e-scooters for riding at extreme speeds,” said Mr Ifrey Lai, 46, the owner of Mobot, which manufactures and sells mobility devices.

“Most of our customers use it for their daily transport or for entertainment purposes when they go out with their family and friends.”

Mr Lai said that his company and others that sell e-scooters in Singapore cap the maximum speed of such devices at 25kmh to comply with LTA guidelines.

He said: “Long distance travel is not suitable for LTA-compliant e-scooters because it would take an hour to travel 20 to 25km and it’s not comfortable.”

SAFETY

Mr Lai suggested that e-scooters be used instead for neighbourhood travel and distances no more than 5km from home.

Mr Lai also recommended that riders slow down when approaching a crowded area and to dismount and push their devices at crowded bus stops.

Mr Lawrence Lee, 37, a manager at Scooter Hub, a company that specialises in the sale and services of electric scooters, said that riders should always wear gloves and protective gear, especially on long trips.

They should also always check their scooters before starting a trip.

He also said that riders should make sure they know where they are going before setting out.

“Riders should plan out their routes and know how much time they need,” said Mr Lee, adding that as a rule of thumb, riders should go slower the more people there are on the route.

At Mobot, every purchase of an e-scooter comes with a rundown of safety guidelines and tips with a sales assistant, as well as a test of the device.

Mr Lai said that customers who buy e-scooters on websites like Carousell have no chance to test their device.

Mr Victor Lee, general manager of personal mobility device distributor Falcon PEV, said that time should be given to let the public understand e-scooters because of their benefits as Singapore moves towards a car-lite society.

“E-scooters are affordable and do not take up too much space,” he said.

–¬†JOSEPH LEE