While a majority of personal mobility device users believe they are considerate towards pedestrians, other road users think otherwise.
Divided views on PMDs leading to low graciousness Only two in 10 road users felt that PMD riders watch out for them. PHOTO: ST FILE

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 perception were suggested as one of the causes of low graciousness on the 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 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% described themselves as 'stressed' during their commute, with 62% describing other road users as 'impatient', and 44% describing others as 'aggressive'.

A Traffic Police spokesman attributed these descriptions to the fast-paced lifestyle and competitiveness in Singapore, which lead to "Singaporeans being fixated on getting to their destinations at great speed, often at the expense of road etiquette and safety."

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're 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. "But unless you witness an errant user yourself, it's not fair to see all PMD users in a negative light."