Getting your meal or parcel delivered to your doorstep is just as simple as making a few taps on the phone these days.
As technology makes ordering and purchasing online easier for you and me, it is of no surprise to see more delivery riders zipping through footpaths and walkways on their bicycles, power-assisted bicycles (PABs) or personal mobility devices (PMDs) around our neighbourhoods.
For everyone to enjoy a safer experience on the paths and roads, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council, Land Transport Authority (LTA) and delivery companies such as, UberEATS and FoodPanda, co-developed a safe riding guide that covers the prevailing regulations and good practices for delivery companies and delivery riders to follow.
The MoveHappy team went through the guide and picked out five recommendations that we felt contributes most to the safety on paths, which in turn, ensures that our orders get safely delivered to us!
1. “Mug” the rules first
Rules under the Active Mobility Act are meant to protect the well-being of all path users, including delivery riders. Hence delivery companies should ensure their riders are familiar with these rules. The Act prescribes device standards – such as the maximum weight and width for different mobility devices, where devices can be used, and speed limits. Companies are also encouraged to send riders to the Safe Riding Programme developed by LTA to learn safe riding behaviour, proper use of infrastructure, and rules and code of conduct for riding.
Some companies require their riders to go through safety programmes, before they are allowed to start on their jobs.
2. Choose the “path of least resistance”
Unexpected accidents can happen even to the most experienced riders. To minimise possibilities of collision, the guide encourages riders to avoid routes known to have high pedestrian traffic. When navigating through a crowd is unavoidable, dismount and walk their mobility devices.
3. Stay alert and focused when riding
Constant situational awareness is key to ensuring a safe journey. This means delivery riders should avoid making phone calls, texting, listening to music or checking directions on their mobile phones while riding. Most importantly, they should not ride recklessly – weaving in and out of paths or speeding in order to meet delivery deadlines.
4. Stay visible when riding at night
Being visible to other path and road users, especially at night, can reduce the likelihood of accidents. Riders are encouraged to wear bright-coloured clothing that are attention-grabbing, or those with reflective strips to make them more visible to other people around them.
Besides this, it is mandatory for riders to ensure their mobility devices are fitted with white and red lights on the front and back respectively, and switch the lights on at night.
5. Plan routes in advance
Companies are advised to plan delivery routes in advance to minimise risks that endanger riders and other path users. For instance, the guide suggests to divide districts into smaller service zones. This will decrease the distance delivery riders need to cover. This also helps riders to familiarise with their assigned zones and thus rely less on their mobile phones for way-finding, which can distract them and reduce their situational awareness as they ride.
Interested to know the full suite of safety guidelines and measures recommended for delivery companies and riders? Download the resource from the WSH Council website.