The first code of conduct here involving pedestrians suggests that they should stay off shared paths, stick to footpaths if possible, and keep to the left unless they are overtaking another pedestrian. They should also refrain from using their mobile phones while walking on such paths, for their own safety. The code of conduct for users of public paths had focused previously on device users, such as cyclists and e-scooter riders. The code represents a natural progression in the sense that pedestrians, who constitute the majority of users, must share responsibility with device users in keeping shared paths safe. Accidents can be nasty for pedestrians themselves.
However, it does not speak well of Singapore as a maturing society that a code needed to be issued in the first place. Unlike roads and highways, where the size, weight and speed of vehicles are critical factors in determining and enforcing traffic rules, public paths should be ruled by common sense and courtesy. After all, it should be habitual to walk and ride on the left – which is the traffic norm for drivers here – and to give way to people, particularly children and the elderly, and to otherwise interact in ways that display respect for other users. Hand-holding and walking two-or three-abreast can raise the ire of others, especially on narrow paths. Having a greater understanding of social mores and common sense practices would constitute the best, unwritten code of pedestrian conduct. Pedestrians will not be policed for how they use paths, but they would do well to be aware when they are out and about.