Not an authority on this but had enough experience with the footpads to give an insight. I don't work for FM so these are my observations from both riding and working at a component level on these boards. Apologies in advance for the wall of text if this becomes one.
The 2 pads are important for 2 main reasons.
- The safety of having a second pad active if the other dies while riding at speed.
- For giving the user a way to tell the board your intentions while trying to ride and dismount.
@pintRider The edge case of one pad failing and the other pad being momentarily disengaged at speed is a legitimate concern. There is the other edge case of the ground pin for the footpad failing, in which case irregardless of both pads being engaged the sensors cannot complete their circuits and would disengage at any speed. I'd argue with 2 pads the likelihood of suffering injury from a failure is less likely with 2 pads vs 1 due to the inherit redundancy.
These edge cases could only be alleviated by adding staggered sensors grouped by left and right up either side of the pads. If one set of staggered pads dies the others are still active on the same side. The ground pin should also be interdependently wired for both sides of the pad so that the failing of one won't stop the other working.
To answer the original question It is possible to do a minor electrical mod to the board so that either pad activates both; in turn making the footpad act as one big sensor however I don't feel comfortable sharing instructions on how you would do it.
@NotSure makes the point these can break and is correct.
I've actually had my footpads internal connections break while riding on bumpy terrain at speed which if I had a single sensor I may not be here typing this. It didn't hit home how fortunate I was regarding what failed till much later after I fixed it :( I have since modded my board so the issue should never re-occur.