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Power-assisted bicycle riders in S’pore required to pass theory test before riding on roads

Road Traffic Act amendments to improve road safety

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Singapore – In a new rule introduced in Parliament on Monday (Apr 5), power-assisted bicycle (PAB) riders must pass a theory test before they are allowed on the roads.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Act (RTA) on Monday to improve road safety, regulate the use of PABs and enhance the Traffic Police’s (TP) operational efficiency.

On Feb 4, 2020, the Active Mobility (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament requiring PAB riders to pass a theory test before they are permitted to ride on cycling paths.

As PAB riders may ride on both cycling paths and roads, MHA will require them to pass the theory test before riding on roads as well.

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The theory test will cover modules on both path and road safety, added MHA.

It will be an offence to ride a PAB on roads if the rider has not passed the theory test.

It will also be an offence to let anyone who has not passed the theory test to ride a PAB on the roads.

First-time offenders of the Active Mobility Act could be imprisoned up to six months, fined a maximum of S$2,000 or both. Repeat offenders could be imprisoned for up to one year, fined a maximum of S$5,000 or both.

Amendments to the RTA were also introduced to improve road safety. This includes increasing penalties for individuals who promote or participate in illegal speed trials.

Motorcyclists who fail to ensure that their pillion riders wear approved helmets will be penalised, while the import or selling of non-approved helmets will see increased penalties.

The amendments include penalties for individuals who obstruct, prevent or defeat the course of justice for road traffic incidents.

“This will cover individuals who mislead TP by facing the penalties on behalf of someone else and individuals who mislead TP by asking someone else to face the penalties on their behalf,” said MHA.

“Such individuals may also face disqualification from driving.”

Reporting requirements for companies that own vehicles will also be enhanced to improve the TP’s operational efficiency.

This will ensure that companies provide information quickly to TP to identify drivers when a company’s vehicle is used to commit traffic offences so that the offending drivers can be promptly taken to task.

Companies will be required to designate a “responsible officer” who will be held liable if the company fails to provide information to identify drivers who use the company’s vehicle to commit a traffic offence.

In addition, the period that companies are required to keep records of such information will increase from six months to one year./TISG

Read related: Ho Ching calls for bicycle and PMD registration and licensing

Ho Ching calls for bicycle and PMD registration and licensing

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