E-scooter ban on footpaths to extend to all motorised PMDs under amendments to Active Mobility Act

E-scooter ban on footpaths to extend to all motorised PMDs under amendments to Active Mobility Act

PMD rider stopped by officers
Active mobility enforcement officers talking to a rider on a PMD on Nov 5, 2019. (Photo: Facebook/Land Transport Authority) 

SINGAPORE: The ban on riding e-scooters on footpaths will be extended to all motorised personal mobility devices (PMDs) under amendments to the Active Mobility Act introduced in Parliament on Monday (Jan 6).  

The ban came into effect for e-scooters – defined as motorised PMDs with handlebars – on Nov 5 last year

Under the Active Mobility (Amendment) Bill, the footpath ban will include devices such as hoverboards and electric unicycles.

The Bill also allows the implementation of a number of recommendations made by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel in September.

These recommendations, which were accepted by the Government in December, include the introduction of a mandatory theory test for e-scooter users as well as a minimum age for to ride motorised PMDs on public paths.

Under the amendments, underaged riders caught using such devices on shared paths without adult supervision would face fines of up to S$1,000 or a jail term of up to three months, or both, for a first offence. 

Repeat offenders face fines of up to S$2,000 or imprisonment of up to six months, or both.  

Adults who allow underaged users to ride motorised PMDs on public paths without supervision will also be subject to the same penalties.

READ: Panel recommends e-scooter users be at least 16 years old, pass theory test before riding on public path

READ: Mandatory inspection for e-scooters every 2 years from April 2020: LTA

The Bill also puts into place an inspection regime for e-scooters, first announced last year, that will require such devices to go for mandatory inspections every two years, beginning on Apr 1 this year. 

"To strengthen LTA's (Land Transport Authority) ability to tackle illegal modification of devices, the amendments also expand the regulatory regime to cover all modifications of devices used on public paths, including those who modify their own devices and those who do without compensation," said the Transport Ministry (MOT) in a statement.  

Under the amendments, the maximum penalties for key offences by both users and retailers will be increased as part of efforts to deter "errant and irresponsible behaviour", MOT added.

For example, shops that display motorised PMDs which do not comply to regulations – such as a maximum weight of 20kg and a top speed of no more than 25kmh – face fines up to S$20,000 for a first offence, or up to S$40,000 for a repeat offence. 

For the same offence, individuals face a fine of up to S$10,000, a year in jail, or both, for a first offence. 

Repeat offenders can be fined up to S$20,000, face two years in jail, or both.

This is up from the maximum fine of S$1,000 or three months in jail for a first offence, and up to S$2,000 fine or six months in jail for repeat offences previously.  

Shops selling motorised PMDs will also be required to display warning notices indicating that use of the devices on footpaths is illegal. 

"The proposed amendments aim to strengthen our regulatory regime on active mobility devices and retailers and promote better public path safety," said the ministry. 

It added that the Bill also makes related amendments to the Road Traffic Act to enhance penalties for PMD-related offences.

The Shared Mobility Enterprises (Control and Licensing Bill), which sets out a new Act that aims to expand the scope of the current licensing regime for bike-sharing and PMD-sharing operators. 

The proposed new Act will replace the existing device-sharing licensing regime, which currently falls under the Parking Places Act.

Among other measures, it would require that companies offering such services provide their users with third-party liability insurance. 

"More details of these amendments will be set out in the Second Readings of the Active Mobility (Amendment) Bill and Shared Mobility Enterprises (Control and Licensing) Bill in February 2020," said MOT. 

Source: CNA/az(mn)

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