SINGAPORE: More than 2,500 active mobility-related offences were recorded between May and December last year, according to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Friday (Feb 1).
The figures followed the introduction of stricter rules on personal mobility devices (PMDs) and the use of shared paths and roads under the Active Mobility Act, which came into effect in May 2018.
Separately, as of January, more than 25,000 e-scooter owners have registered their devices.
From Jul 1, it will be an offence to "ride or cause another person to ride" an unregistered e-scooter on public paths, LTA said.
First-time offenders could be fined up to S$2,000, jailed for up to three months or both.
In a Facebook post, LTA said it conducted an operation in several locations including Sengkang East on Friday, in a move to clamp down on errant riders.
A total of nine people were caught for flouting rules on active mobility and four devices were impounded.
Officers also engaged more than 260 device users on the active mobility rules.
SAFER PATH AND ROAD-SHARING
Several new rules encouraging safer path and road-sharing also kicked in on Friday.
The rules, first announced in September last year, include a lower speed limit for riders on footpaths, the mandatory use of helmets by cyclists on roads, a "stop and look" requirement for all active mobility device users and maximum device speed for personal mobility aids (PMAs).
Under the new rules, the speed limit for riding on footpaths is now 10kmh, when previously it was 15kmh.
Cyclists on roads must also wear helmets unless they are only crossing the road to get from one public path to another.
Additionally, active mobility device users must "stop and look" out for vehicles at road crossings, including zebra and signalised pedestrian crossings.
Motorists are similarly expected to slow down and look out for such users as well as pedestrians, and allow them to cross.
PEDESTRIANS WELCOME NEW RULES
"It's a good rule,” said Mr Dzulkarnain Tay-Lind.
“Sometimes when I'm driving, I see cyclists travelling in the opposite direction and going really fast. It's not safe for anyone,” he added.
While one expert expects that most riders will be aware of the new rules, he said that there are some who may not be so informed and hence, may unwittingly break the law.
“One group is the elderly, who actually ride short distances to the market and the other, foreign workers,” said Mr Steven Lim, president of the Safe Cycling Task Force.
“These two groups may not have access to the Internet or may not be tech-savvy, so they don’t get a lot of information from there or read discussions online and as a result, may not actually understand what the new rules are, when they apply and when they don't,” he added.
To address this, Mr Lim said the Safe Cycling Task Force has urged LTA to step up on its outreach to the two groups through dormitories, the Ministry of Manpower and community centres.
HIGHER DEMAND FOR SAFETY GEAR
Several retailers have reported an increase in sales for safety gear following the announcement of stricter regulations.
Popular sporting goods retailer Decathlon said it has seen a 20 per cent increase in sales for items such as speedometers, bicycle bells and helmets.
“A lot of people, especially the older generation, use PMDs to send their grandchildren to school or to buy groceries at the market, and now they realise they need a helmet to travel, so they buy one for themselves and for their grandchildren,” Mr Syed Syafiq, cycling sports leader at Decathlon.
Online e-scooter shop The Halo Brand has also seen its sale of helmets increase by 30 per cent.