PMD users think they are considerate, pedestrians say no: Survey
But study shows only 2 in 10 road users feel PMD riders watch out for them
While an overwhelming majority of personal mobility device (PMD) users and cyclists believe they are considerate towards pedestrians, a study commissioned by the Traffic Police found that other road users think otherwise.
The Road Sense Index, which studied attitudes and expectations of road users, found that only two in 10 felt that PMD riders watch out for them.
This is in stark contrast to the nine in 10 PMD users who say they keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists on shared pavements.
Similarly, while eight in 10 cyclists said they give way to pedestrians on shared footpaths, only three in 10 road users believe that cyclists are attentive towards them.
These discrepancies in perceptions were suggested as one of the causes of low graciousness on roads, with the study finding that "there is a disconnect between the self and perceived attitudes and behaviours towards road safety and graciousness".
Road users tend to rate themselves positively, while the behaviour of others is perceived negatively. Road users comprise of pedestrians - including the elderly and those with children - as well as drivers and users of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles and heavy vehicles.
Besides the differences in perception, the study also found that stress played another huge role in contributing to low levels of graciousness.
Out of the 1,000 respondents, 40 per cent described themselves as "stressed" during their commute, with 62 per cent describing other road users as "impatient", and 44 per cent describing others as "aggressive".
A Traffic Police spokesman attributed these descriptions to the fast-paced lifestyle and competitiveness in Singapore, which leads to "Singaporeans being fixated on getting to their destinations at great speed, often at the expense of road etiquette and safety".
Many pedestrians revealed horror stories of their close encounters with speeding PMDs after The Sunday Times' report "Too fast and too reckless" highlighted how riders flouted the speed limit of 10kmh on public paths.
The common grievance is when PMDs disrupt their peaceful strolls or walks home from work by speeding past them without prior warning.
A number of readers called for a ban on PMDs, while better enforcement, speed controlling tools and changing user behaviour were possible solutions pedestrians raised when asked how PMD users can co-exist with them.
E-scooter store owner Loh Kay Hwa, 39, said there is a bias against PMD users, adding that most follow the rules, though some give the entire community a bad name.
"Since there are so many reports on PMD users who break the rules and get into accidents, people tend to assume that all PMD users are like that," he said.