The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has prohibited all electric scooters (e-scooters) from public footpaths. The ban will take effect beginning Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, and will only be allowed on cycling and park connector network paths.
The announcement was made by Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min in Parliament on Monday (Nov 4).
Dr Lam said that while the government has exerted substantive efforts in promoting the safe use of PMDs, irresponsible and careless riders who use non-compliant devices continue to ply the major thoroughfares and ride without care.
Singapore’s ban shows how the government has to adapt and form new rules as new innovations such as e–scooters and e-bikes threaten to disrupt urban transportation which authorities are used to regulating for decades.
Following the ban, the number of listings on e-scooters shot up on Carousell. People are selling their PMDs in haste either to evade the penalties of riding on non-compliant e-scooters or to immediately make money from something that will lead them to jail or to accidents.
Time to adjust
To allow e-scooter users time to adjust to said ban, LTA is giving a grace period from Nov. 5 to Dec. 31. During this time, people caught riding e-scooters on public footpaths will be issued warnings.
From Jan. 1, 2020, all users caught riding e-scooters on public footpaths will face fines of up to S$2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to three months.
Dr Lam noted that Singapore’s clampdown comes just a week after France announced that it would no longer allow the riding of e-scooters on its pavements following hundreds of e-scooter-related incidents, including several deaths.
“Cities have allowed the use of such devices on footpaths as they are non-pollutive, inexpensive and, if properly used, convenient for short intra-town travels. We expected the co-sharing of footpaths to be challenging but were hopeful that with public education, PMD users would be gracious and responsible. Unfortunately, this was not so,” he added.
In Singapore’s case, Dr Lam said there had been “more severe” accidents, including a fatal one involving a cyclist in September. He added that many riders have themselves suffered severe injuries, including a few who had lost their lives. -/TISG
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