Singapore

40 e-scooterists caught riding on roads every month

40 PMD users caught every month; new law will impose speed limits on pathways

The number of personal mobility device (PMD) users caught riding on the roads has jumped, with an average of 40 every month.

This figure from January to November is 18 per cent more than the monthly average of 34 recorded last year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday after queries from The Straits Times.

Most PMD users are electric scooter riders, who have been in the spotlight after a 52-year-old man riding such a machine died last month after an accident with a double-decker bus in Kaki Bukit.

While PMDs can be used on public pathways, there have been cases of pedestrians getting injured after being hit by speeding e-scooters.

On Monday, an e-scooterist, Jonathan Mark Tan Wei Wen, 24, was jailed for 10 weeks for assaulting a pedestrian whom he blamed for causing him to fall. The victim suffered fractures in his nose and right eye socket.

Besides the Road Traffic Act, PMD users will soon also be governed by the Active Mobility Act. This new law, which will direct their conduct on public pathways, will take effect later this year or early next year, the LTA said.

It will require users to, among other things, ensure their PMDs adhere to a maximum weight of 20kg and a maximum width of 70cm.

They also cannot exceed a speed limit of 15kmh on footpaths and 25kmh on cycling paths and shared paths on the Park Connector Network.

The new law also empowers the LTA and agencies like the National Parks Board to issue summonses to reckless riders, who can be fined up to $5,000, or jailed up to six months.

Meanwhile, the LTA has raised the number of enforcement officers from 24 in June to more than 50 as it intensifies enforcement action against PMD users on public roads.

The officers are also being equipped with speed guns to make sure PMD users stick to the speed limits.

Said an LTA spokesman: "As the active mobility landscape is still evolving, the size of the enforcement team will be reviewed from time to time to correspond to the needs on the ground."

Errant riders caught on public roads were mainly travelling on minor roads, with a "small minority" found on major roads and expressways, the LTA said.

Last month, a man was arrested after a video showing an e-scooterist on the Pan-Island Expressway went viral on social media.

E-scooters form the bulk of the PMDs seized, along with some electric skateboards and hoverboards.

The penalties for first-timers caught using PMDs on public roads is a maximum fine of $2,000, or a jail term of up to three months.

For subsequent offences, they may be fined up to $5,000 or jailed a maximum of six months.

The LTA has partnered community volunteers to form about 50 Active Mobility Patrol teams to raise awareness of safe riding habits and rules.

Said Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport member Yee Chia Hsing: "Hopefully, with increased enforcement, coupled with public education, we will see fewer PMD users on the roads."

Transport