Electric scooters and hoverboards are fast becoming alternative modes of transport. If you have one, here’s what you need to take note of to ride safely. By Muneerah Bee
Photo: Gennadiy Kravchenko/123rf.com
These self-balancing, rechargeable battery-powered two-wheeled boards are becoming more common on the island. Keep these in mind if you’re planning to get one.
1) Before you start shopping for a hoverboard, you might want to check whether the model you have your eyes on has been recalled by visiting the SPRING’s Product Safety Alert Page. You could also check for international recalls on Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Recall Page and European Union’s Rapid Alert System (RAPEX).
2) After your purchase, do take time to read instructions and warning labels that came with your hoverboard. You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to charge the device and use it appropriately, because overcharging may make the battery overheat and result in a fire. Yikes. And adult supervision is advised when kids charge any electrical devices.
3) You should always use an approved battery charger or AC adapter with the SAFETY Mark when you charge your hoverboard. The SAFETY Mark can be found on either the product itself or in its packaging.
4) Controlling your hoverboard relies entirely on balance, and it is not uncommon to fall from one. So it would be wise to strap on some safety equipment, such as a helmet, kneepads, elbow pads and wrist guards to avoid fractures, sprains, cuts, bruising, spinal injuries, head injuries and concussion. And oh, don’t ride your hoverboard barefoot.
Kick and electric scooters
Scooters are all about green mobility and convenience, so it’s not surprising to see more people on them. However, there have been reports of reckless e-scooter riders on the streets, putting other users in danger.
The Big Wheel Scooters Singapore (BWSS), a community of kick and electric scooter enthusiasts, has these guidelines when scooting in public places.
5) Invest in some safety gear such as a helmet, lights (white for the front, red for the rear), proper shoes, and gloves, elbow and kneepads.
6) Make sure your scooters’ tyres, brakes, and lights are in good working condition because faulty or substandard components may pose to be a hazard to you and others around you.
7) Angle your headlight slightly to the ground so the light would not cause a glare to others.
8) Try not to ring your bell excessively when approaching pedestrians on the sidewalk. If the pedestrian do not give way, get off your scooter and push it to overtake.
9) Do not speed. Authorities have been known to seize electric scooters if you ignore speed limits or ride recklessly.
10) You should always be ready to stop when approaching pedestrians who may not be aware of their surroundings such as kids, the elderly or annoying people who are distracted with their mobile phones.
11) Always slow down and be ready to stop when approaching junctions and store entrances.
12) Dismount and push your scooter at traffic lights and crosswalks.
13) Always keep to your left, and never ride on the road.
14) When scooting in groups, ride in a single file and maintain a safe distance from the scooter in front of you. Do not brake suddenly, unless it is totally necessary.
A version of this story first appeared on The Finder website.