Use of PMDs to come under tighter regulations

This article is more than 12 months old

Ideas include compulsory third-party insurance, age requirement for users

The use of personal mobility devices (PMDs) will come under tighter regulations, with the passing of new laws that will expand the enforcement reach of the authorities and require e-scooters to be registered.

But more can be done to further improve safety, said MPs who spoke in the debate of the Land Transport (Enforcement Measures) Bill in Parliament yesterday.

Their suggestions include making third-party accident insurance compulsory and setting an age requirement for PMD users.

Some also called for stronger enforcement efforts against reckless riders.

Replying to the 12 MPs who spoke, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is conducting a trial on the use of mobile closed-circuit televisions along public paths, to identify and reduce errant behaviour.

Between May 1 and Aug 15, the LTA's enforcement officers recorded 1,300 offences, Dr Lam added.

These offences include reckless riding and the use of non-compliant devices on public paths.

The Active Mobility Act, which took effect on May 1, regulates the use of bicycles, power-assisted bicycles and PMDs on footpaths, shared cycling paths and roads.

MPs such as Mr Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) and Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) wanted third-party liability insurance to be made mandatory, so that accident victims can seek recourse in claiming for damages from the PMD riders.

Dr Lam said a panel advising the Government on active mobility laws had considered the impact of mandatory insurance on a diverse group of PMD users and decided that it was more important to prevent accidents.

He noted that victims have three avenues to seek recourse: a private settlement via mediation, pursuing a civil claim, and making a police report on the accident.

Meanwhile, those that employ large numbers of active mobility device users, such as food delivery companies, will be encouraged to insure their riders, he added.

The Government will also work with the General Insurance Association and insurance companies to explore ways to make premiums more affordable and accessible for PMD users.

One way could be to bundle insurance into the sale of the PMDs, Dr Lam said.

From early next year, e-scooter users will need to register their devices and give their personal particulars to the authorities, to ease the tracing of individuals during investigations of an offence.

They must also declare their e-scooters comply with the weight, width and speed requirements.

Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan asked if an individual could deregister when he sells his PMD to another person.

Dr Lam said the individual should apply to the LTA to transfer the registration to the buyer.