Mr. Clinton Tan was riding an e-scooter for four months before his mother stopped him from using it as she was worried about his safety.
So, he sold off the e-scooter, which he used to get around his neighborhood, and now walks instead.
Ironically, Mr. Tan, 24, won himself an e-scooter yesterday at the Mobot Saferider Challenge held at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre Hall.
The challenge, which is the first of its kind in Singapore, was organized by Mobot, a company which manufactures and sells mobility devices.
E-scooters have been under public scrutiny in recent months after several accidents. In September, a 53-year-old housewife was hit by an e-scooter and has been in a coma.
Since May, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has deployed a team of Active Mobility Enforcement Officers (AMEO) to deter reckless riding on personal mobility devices.
The Mobot Safety Challenge put e-scooter riders’ knowledge of riding safety to the test with circuits as well as a quiz.
A total of 35 riders took part and each was given points based on how fast they completed the course and their knowledge of safety. Points were deducted if they broke a safety rule in the circuit.
Mr. Tan, who won a Mobot Sport Three worth $1,499, said: “I think what’s important is that participants are made aware of safety and people who care are exposed to it (safety regulations).
“I used to ride my e-scooter, but my mother thought it was dangerous when she saw reports and videos about accidents involving e-scooters in the news so she told me to sell my e-scooter.”
He said that his mother feels that e-scooters provide minimal protection to the rider and are much more dangerous than driving a car.
Mr tan did not have any close calls in the four months he was riding his e-scooter.
He said: “I don’t go for speed when riding, I live in Yishun so I mainly travel around for food. I also use my e-scooter to meet up with my friends nearby and I always ride in the day-time.”
Mr. Tan’s mother did not know that he would be taking part in yesterday’s challenge and he expects she would ask him to sell off his prize as well.
The runner-up for the Challenge, Mr. Chen Xin Quan, 31, has been in an accident on his e-scooter.
Three weeks ago, his e-scooter skidded while he was riding on the pavement.
He had pressed his brakes too suddenly, causing him to fall off.
He said: “It was a rainy day and the ground was very wet. So, I pressed my brakes too quickly and it caused my e-scooter to get some scratches. Thankfully, I was not injured.”
Mr. Chen, who works in logistics, rides his e-scooter every day from Joo Koon MRT station to his office, which is about 10km away.
Mobot’s owner, Mr. Ifrey Lai, 46, said: “As a retailer, we must make sure to respect the safety rules. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of incidents involving e-scooters.
“Some e-scooters are not compliant with LTA regulations while many people are not aware of the rules of riding such vehicles.”
“The purpose of this challenge is to educate e-scooter riders about these safety regulations and initiate an e-scooter rider safety campaign.”
Before e-scooter riders embarked on the circuit, they had to take a safety pledge.
One of yesterday’s participants, engineer, Jackson Chan, 34, said: “The event is great for newcomers who need to learn about riding safety.
“Roads have pedestrians, cars, motorcycles, and e-scooters. We should all learn to respect one another on the road so that’s why I think this event was great.”