Singapore—The country’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that 3,444 warnings have been issued to errant personal mobility devices (PMD) users ever since the ban was announced in Parliament on November 4.
Additionally, 111 PMDs have been impounded since then for offences like illegally modifying e-scooters and the like.
In a Facebook post, the LTA wrote, “Errant e-scooter riders have been charged and sentenced in court.”
For the rest of 2019, PMD riders who still use their e-scooters on public footpaths will only be given warnings, except in the most egregious cases. However, by the time 2020 rolls around, e-scooter riders who insist on using their devices on public footpaths may be jailed for as long as three months and be made to pay a fine of S$2,000, or both.
The ban on e-scooters was implemented due to concerns over public safety, especially with the growing number of PMD-related accidents, including one fatality, that of a 65-year-old female cyclist in September, after she had collided with a PMD rider.
Dr Lam Pin Min, the Senior Minister of State who announced that e-scooters would be banned in Singapore’s public footpaths, had said that the decision to impose the ban had not been an easy one.
He wrote on November 4, “We have been having extensive discussions about where PMDs should be heading. It is an emotive topic – some are for it, while others have called for a total ban immediately.
Singapore is land-scarce, and with many competing needs, it is practically impossible to dedicate separate paths for PMDs everywhere.
Despite major efforts to educate safe and gracious riding, irresponsible riding and accidents involving e-scooters have risen over the past few years, leading to injuries and even loss of lives….
It has not been a straightforward nor an easy decision, but public safety always comes first and should never be at the expense of the young and elderly amongst us.
We hope to have Singaporeans’ understanding and support on this new policy and would urge all PMD users to continue to exercise safe and responsible behaviour when using their devices on other permissible areas such as cycling paths and park connector networks (PCNs).”
While many Singaporeans applauded the e-scooter ban, many others have expressed concern over it, since it directly affects people’s means of livelihood, especially food delivery riders.
On December 4 additional restrictions were set for both e-scooter riders and electric bicycle riders, that would precede their being allowed to take to roads and bike lanes. E-scooter and power-assisted bicycle users must pass a theory test before they are allowed to ride on cycling paths, and e-scooter riders must be at least 16 years old.
Another new regulation is that the businesses that make use of e-scooters are now required to get third-party liability insurance for their employees who use these devices for work, which would prepare for all e-scooter users to obtain mandatory insurance.
Companies will need to get third-party liability insurance for all mobility device users—including e-bikes and personal mobility aids.
Another new regulation is that PMD riders are now forbidden from using their cellphones while they are on roads and bike paths, unless these are used “hands-free” or if the mobile phones are mounted.
All of the above was recommended by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel and was submitted to Singapore’s Minister of Transport, Khaw Boon Wan, three months ago. -/TISG
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