'Handicapped' man riding mobility scooter gets up and walks in S'pore Pools outlet at Tampines Mall

Submitted by Stomper Jeffrey

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Update on Nov 3:

'Dear ignorant jerk, you don't need to be completely disabled or unable to walk to use PMAs'

Original article:

Miracles do happen.

A man rode a personal mobility aid (PMA) into a Singapore Pools outlet in the FairPrice supermarket of Tampines Mall on the morning of Oct 27.

PMAs are wheelchairs, motorised wheelchairs or mobility scooters (which are different from e-scooters) designed for those who are unable to walk or have difficulties walking.

Stomper Jeffrey thought that since the man was using a mobility scooter, he must be handicapped.

So the Stomper was surprised when the man got up from his PMA and walked "steadily" to queue up to place a bet at the counter.

"If he was handicapped, how could he walk so well?" wondered the Stomper, who shared photos of the incident.

"How does a person qualify to be classified as handicapped to ride a PMA?

"What proof does he have to show he is classified as handicapped? Does the Government issue passes to such people as proof?"

The Stomper is concerned as these devices are becoming commonplace.

He said: "Of late, we have been seeing many PMA users in Tampines along pedestrian paths. Do they need a licence?

"We have yet to see the Land Transport Authority (LTA) doing spot checks on these guys.

"Some of these PMAs may also be fire hazards. But they certainly can be hazardous to children and old folks at crowded places in the mall.

"Perhaps the authorities could investigate and put in place some controls and checks."

While LTA has regulations on where you can ride a PMA, regulations on who can ride a PMA are another matter.

The Straits Times reported in March that the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) was considering whether more restrictive rules were needed on who should be allowed to use PMAs.

In an interview with radio station One FM 91.3, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and AMAP chairman Baey Yam Keng said: "I got a lot of complaints from residents that they (PMAs) are becoming like pseudo-motorcycles without COE."

Mr Baey, who is also an MP for Tampines GRC, added that the new rules may take the form of restrictions on the devices or the riders.

"(For PMAs), does a person need to get a doctor's certificate to say he is disabled or has a mobility issue? There could be a possibility that people are abusing it," he said.

PMAs were not included in the personal mobility device ban on footpaths in 2020 as they are meant to be used by those with medical issues.