Long has it been that e-scooters and e-bike riders terrorised people on the roads.
Or at least, the bad ones.
1 May 2018, affectionately known as Labour Day, is one that we will remember for life.
Because this is the day the authorities (finally) decided to crack down on them.
Here are 8 facts about the new rules on Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) that’ll make Singaporeans cheer.
1. LTA Made Surprise Announcement About New PMD Regulations
On Tuesday, 1 May, Singapore’s very own Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that they’ll be exercising their powers to regulate PMDs, Powered Assisted Bicycle (PABs) and bicycles.
Users who are found to have broken the regulations will face harsher penalties.
You see, this act (known as the Active Mobility Act) was passed by Parliament in January last year, but it is unknown when it would take effect.
Now we know.
2. With New Rules, E-Scooters Are Not Allowed On The Roads Anymore
If you’re unaware, e-scooters have been involved in accidents recently.
Like the elderly man who was involved in an accident with SBS Transit bus 811 along Yishun Ave 9.
Or the 26-year-old who was involved in a collision with a car in front of Kembangan MRT station on 19 Apr 2018.
With the new rules kicking in, these situations (probably) will not happen anymore.
From 1 May, personal mobility aid like motorised wheelchairs, mobility scooters and devices like e-scooters and hoverboards will not be allowed on the roads.
They’re only allowed on footpaths and cycling/shared paths.
Only conventional bicycles and Power-assisted bicycles will be allowed on the roads.
In the case of PABs, they’re only allowed on the roads and not on footpaths or cycling/shared paths.
By now, you should have seen many posters being put up about the ban of e-scooters on the road. Now, it’s not just posters, but the law.
3. Devices’ Max Weight And Width Regulated To Protect Pedestrians
It’s not just about e-scooters getting injured on the roads.
Remember what I said about selected riders terrorising us pedestrians?
Like the case about the 53-year-old woman who was crashed into by a 17-year-old teenager on a “big black e-scooter”.
She had to have two operations on her brain and was in a coma for some time.
To protect other vulnerable users on the footpaths, the new law limits the size and speed of personal mobility devices.
Devices can only weight a maximum of 20kg to reduce serious injuries in case of collision.
Plus, they can only be, at most, 70 cm in width so that they can cross each other safely on most public footpaths.
Plus, they must have their speed capped at 25km/h, the highest possible speed limit on cycling/shared footpaths.
4. LTA Promises Harsher Penalties To Errant Riders
Previously, members of the public felt that punishment for errant riders are too light.
They can’t even be considered a deterrence to these people.
Well, if you think that way, rejoice.
Because LTA has heard you and they’re setting more punishments for people who deserve this.
If you’re caught speeding or riding electric bicycles on the footpaths, you’ll be fined up to $1,000 or sent to jail for three months, or both.
Get caught more than once and see your sentence doubled.
And if enforcement officers catches you riding non-compliant devices (read #3), you’ll be fined $5,000 or sent to jail for three months, or both.
Again, if you’re caught the second time for doing the same thing, expect your sentence to be doubled.
5. Even Sellers Are Not Spared
Sun Tze once said, if you’re attacking anything, aim for the head.
Or in this case, the source.
If sellers are found displaying non-compliant devices, not displaying warnings on their use or advertising illegal devices, they’ll be fined $1000 or sent to jail for three months. Or both.
Caught for the second time and more, and you’ll find your sentence doubled in severity.
And if you really sell illegal devices, you’ll be fined $5,000, jailed up to three months, or both.
Same as previous punishments, everything is doubled if you’re caught for the second time.
6. Don’t Try To Test The System
Hit-and-run accidents are getting more prevalent.
It’s like the culprit did something wrong, runs away and hope they don’t get caught.
Like the Ang Mo Kio hit-and-run case between and elderly woman and a teenager.
Well, enough is enough.
LTA is imposing harsh penalties for people who collided and injured another party, then ran away
Should you not stop to help accident victims, you can be fined up to $3000, sent to jail for one year, or both.
And if you’re a repeat offender? The maximum fine will be increased to $5,000, and jail term doubled.
Also, for those who try to test the system by threatening officers or provoking other people to take a Facebook video, you can be fined up to $5,000, thrown into jail for a year, or both.
In other words, don’t try and test the system. The kids gloves are off.
7. E-Scooters Required To Register Their Devices With LTA
Back on 7 Mar 2018, LTA announced that in the second half of 2018, e-scooter riders has to register their device with LTA.
As part of the registration process, they’ll have to give their personal details and identification stickers given to them must be pasted in prominent view on their devices.
They said that this will disencourage reckless riding and make riders more responsible and conscious on the footpaths.
So you can say that this was in the works all along, and not something they just thought up in response to the spike in e-scooter incidents.
8. The incident that gave authorities the wake up call
So what happened? Why the sudden interest in regulating PMDs?
Yes, a huge spate of accidents involving various Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) took place recently.
But the one case that started this entire shtick off is 53-year-old Madam Ang Liu Kiow.
On 17 Sep 2017, teenager Nicholas Ting Nai Jie allegedly knocked into Madam Ang at Pasir Ris Drive 1.
He tended to her with four other youths, called an ambulance for her and escaped.
She had to undergo two operations on her brain, suffer from multiple mini strokes and was in a coma for three months.
And when she woke up from her coma, she was a vastly different person.
She needed to learn how to stand and walk again. The family had to hire a maid to take care of her and her husband, who is an odd job labourer, earns about $1,000 per month.
E-scooter riders do not have third party insurances and so, the family is unable to get adequate compensation from the rider.
After this incident, there were calls for stiffer penalties against errant riders. There were also calls for PMD users to get third party insurance.
Police investigations for the case are still ongoing.
App Exclusive: Footage of an e-scooter cutting into a moving car’s lane
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