PMDs must conform to safety standard by 2021

Motorised personal mobility devices (PMDs) like e-scooters will have to conform to a safety standard by 2021.

The move is to tackle the rampant cases of fire involving these devices which happen at least twice a month on average.

The new requirement will be introduced in stages in the next two years, starting with retailers, who can sell only devices that comply with the new standard from July next year. Owners whose current PMDs do not adhere to the new standards can use them until end-2020. From January 2021, they will be illegal on public paths.

The new safety standard for PMDs is given in the Land Transport (Enforcement Measures) Bill, that Parliament passed yesterday.

It will follow UL 2272, developed by an independent United States certification company and specifies a set of safety requirements covering the electrical drive train system, including the battery, for PMDs.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min told Parliament there have been more than 80 fires involving PMDs since 2016 and they pose "serious public safety concerns".

"Currently, many of the motorised PMDs sold in Singapore do not conform to any reliable safety standard... Conformity with the standard under UL2272 can significantly improve the safety of motorised PMDs against fire and electrical hazards," said Dr Lam.

The Bill, supported by all 12 MPs who spoke on it, will also tighten regulations on PMDs, like a registration regime for e-scooters, which will start early next year.