SINGAPORE (Aug 6): Colin Koh, a burly national sports coach and diving instructor, now teaches pavement etiquette to cyclists and personal mobility device riders. Koh’s organisation has trained thousands of cyclists and PMD riders since March. His vocation is an increasingly important one as more people get on two wheels to bridge the so-called last-mile mobility gap. The number of accidents involving PMDs, bicycles and power-assisted bicycles surged to 128 in 2017, from 19 in 2015, raising public furore against the use of wheels on footpaths.

“There is this miscommunication going on between e-scooter riders and everyone else. We try to manage this expectation. For instance, we ask [PMD riders]: ‘Are you able to ride at walking speed?’ Nine out of 10 people will say they can, when in practice, they cannot,” he says. “Pathways are for shared use. If you have one space and everyone wants it exclusive to them, then we have a problem.”

Koh is the managing director of Asian Detours, one of two training providers for the Safe Riding Programme — funded by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to teach people the new code of conduct under the Active Mobility Act. Passed last year, the Act sets out rules for PMD users and cyclists, and spells out penalties for reckless riding.

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