Should there be mandatory insurance for users of electric scooters?
A recent spate of accidents involving electric scooters (or PMDs for short) have stirred up negative public sentiment on whether these electric scooters should be allowed on the pedestrian pathways. Some of these incidents have resulted in near fatal collisions so the level of public concern is not entirely misplaced.
Other than the risk to public safety in the sharing the pedestrian pathways, another public concern regarding PMD usage is that unlike car drivers, PMD users are not required to carry personal liability insurance. This means that if a PMD collides with a person or property, the victim or owner of the damaged property will find it difficult to get a claim from anyone other than the PMD user.
Addressing the latter concern, NTUC Income has come up with a novel insurance package targeted at PMD riders which provides many tiers of coverage including:
- Up to $200k of death or disability coverage
- Up to $2.5k of medical coverage
- Up to $1m of third party liability coverage
Before considering mandatory PMD insurance coverage, lets consider the following points:
- No country in the World currently legislates mandatory insurance for bicycle or PMD users.
- Unlike cars and other motor vehicles, PMDs and bicycles are not subject to customs duty and can be imported by anyone or purchased directly through online platforms.
- Authorities are not in favor of over-regulating by making PMD insurance mandatory. The enforcement of such a regulation would require a large database and it makes it difficult to track due to point 2 above.
- PMD riders are not required to sit through a driving test before being allowed to use the vehicle.
Although the population of PMDs in our major cities comprises a relatively small portion of road and human traffic, we cannot ignore the potential safety risks of PMDs should the use become more prevalent. Rider education should be the top priority for authorities and it should start NOW.
The use of PMDs is a very new phenomena hence the public outcry towards the isolated infractions. This will be a good time to start a public campaign on firstly, educating the PMD user on good riding etiquette and secondly, educating the public on how to respond to PMDs sharing the same pathways. We at sgscooters firmly believe that education should go both ways.
However, statistically speaking, even with the best practices put in place, another accident will most probably happen with the growing numbers of PMD users. This is where the coverage provided by NTUC Income will come in handy for the victim and for the rider. For more details on NTUC Income’s Personal mobility guard Insurance.
Check out this PMD safety video if you haven’t already: