11 caught riding PMDs on roads in 2 hours as stiffer penalties kick in

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Higher fines, more enforcement officers to deter reckless riding

On the morning that stiffer penalties kicked in for those riding personal mobility devices (PMDs) on roads, 11 people were nabbed doing this in just two hours in Loyang Drive.

Each had his device seized and faced a fine of $300 for reckless riding.

With PMDs, in particular e-scooters, becoming more popular, the tougher regime aims to rein in risks on the road posed by errant users.

Already, 38 PMD users have been nabbed for riding on roads since the new year began.

This is up sharply from just 22 for the same period last year, and almost as high as the monthly average for last year - 40.

As The Straits Times witnessed a joint enforcement operation by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Traffic Police at Loyang Drive yesterday, several PMD users were seen riding on the road when they are allowed to be only on the pavement.

Some were taken aback when stopped by officers and slapped with hefty fines.

Others could be seen swerving back onto pedestrian paths once they spotted the enforcement officers.

Mr Murugan Gurusamy, a 45-year-old quality inspector, was caught crossing the road on his e-scooter. He said he did not know that stiffer penalties had kicked in yesterday morning.

Those caught riding on minor roads now face a fine of $300 for the first offence, $500 for the second offence and $800 for subsequent offences.

Those found riding on major roads face a $500 fine for the first offence, $800 for the second offence and $1,000 for subsequent offences.

PMD users found riding on expressways will be charged in court. If convicted, they can be fined up to $2,000 and jailed up to three months.

The fine was previously $100 for the first offence, $200 for the second, and $500 for subsequent offences on all roads.

To remind users that riding on roads is an offence, banners have been placed on lamp posts at 175 locations across the island. The number of enforcement officers has gone up from 24 last June to more than 50 now.

After his $1,400 e-scooter was impounded, Mr Murugan acknowledged the regulations were in place for the safety of all road users. He added: "I guess I will have to take the public bus to work for now."