LTA to trial CCTVs at hotspots for errant cyclists & PMD users
The cameras will be installed in areas where reckless riding and errant use of personal mobility devices is common
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras will soon be installed at hotspots where reckless riding and other personal mobility device (PMD) offences are prevalent.
This is part of a trial later this year, complementing the Land Transport Authority's (LTA's) existing enforcement efforts to catch errant PMD riders and cyclists.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min revealed this during the Committee of Supply debate in Parliament yesterday.
Responding to The New Paper's queries, LTA said the hotspots are selected based on public feedback and ground observations by LTA's active mobility enforcement officers.
The CCTVs will be rotated across these hotspot locations islandwide during the trial.
LTA's spokesman said: "We will review the trial to determine if the CCTV footage and video analytics software can detect active mobility offences such as speeding. More details on the trial will be available later this year."
Dr Lam had cited the spike in off-road accidents involving active mobility users, which almost doubled from 132 in 2017 to 250 last year.
Calling it a "worrying trend", Dr Lam said Singaporeans have expressed valid concerns about safety on footpaths shared by pedestrians and PMD users.
While he acknowledged the importance of education and ground-up initiatives in promoting responsible riding, Dr Lam said: "I fully agree with the need for stronger enforcement."
Dr Lam told Parliament that LTA has stepped up its enforcement efforts, and its officers have been carrying out regular checks at hotspots, using speed guns and weighing scales to enforce speed limits and device weight requirements.
Since the Active Mobility Act (AMA) came into effect in May last year, Dr Lam said the LTA has detected more than 2,900 offences, including unsafe riding on paths and riding of non-compliant devices.
Under the AMA, all bicycles, PMDs and power-assisted bicycles cannot exceed 20kg in weight, 70cm in width, and 25kmh, if motorised.
The speed limit on shared paths like park connectors is also capped at 25kmh, while the limit on footpaths was lowered to 10kmh in February.
Those in the active mobility community were supportive of the CCTV trial, but their views were mixed about how safety on footpaths can be improved.
Mr Francis Chu, 58, co-founder of cycling enthusiast group Love Cycling SG, told TNP that while cameras at hotspots will be useful, the impact is limited if the bigger, more fundamental problems are not solved, like the lack of clarity over who has right-of-way when sharing footpaths.
Shocked by the "exponential" jump in off-road accidents in the past few years, Mr Chu said that to ensure off-road safety, pedestrians need to be given priority as some active mobility users may feel entitled to the path as long as they keep within the speed limits, and overtake when it is not safe to do so.
Mr Denis Koh, chairman of PMD enthusiast group Big Wheel Scooters Singapore, said the CCTVs are an efficient use of technology to handle these hotspots and conflict zones.
But he was also keen to emphasise the importance of education, which can be a key factor in mitigating these safety issues, in addition to the mandatory registration regime.
"We will expect to go through a storm before calm weather," Mr Koh said.
"If deployed, the CCTVs would be more of a deterrent."