SINGAPORE: Cyclists and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) such as e-scooters will soon have to adhere to a lower speed limit when travelling on footpaths, after the Government accepted an advisory panel’s recommendations.
Starting early 2019, the current 15kmh speed limit on footpaths for PMDs and bicycles will be brought down to 10kmh. The lower speed will give PMD users, cyclists and pedestrians enough time to react to each other in unforeseen circumstances, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said on Tuesday (Sep 4).
“All riders must continue to give way to pedestrians and slow down when approaching crowded areas or blind spots. Riders should also exercise caution when overtaking other path users,” the ministry said in a press release.
The Active Mobility Advisory Panel submitted six recommendations, including the lowering of speed limits on footpaths, to the Minister for Transport on Aug 24. All six have been accepted and will be implemented in early 2019.
A maximum device speed of 10kmh will also be imposed on motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters. This will prevent retailers and able-bodied users from using such devices to circumvent the regulations, MOT said.
Cyclists will also be required to wear helmets when travelling on roads. The rule will not apply to those who are crossing the road as part of their journey on footpaths and cycling or shared paths.
PMD users, on the other hand, are not allowed to ride on roads but the ministry said those travelling on paths are "strongly advised" to put on helmets.
At road crossings, cyclists and PMD users must stop and look out for vehicles, before resuming their journeys.
“This will provide active mobility device users and motorists with more reaction time, thereby reducing the risk of accidents. Likewise, motorists should also play their part by slowing down at crossings and looking out for cyclists, PMD users and pedestrians,” MOT said.
The ministry also accepted the panel’s recommendation not to make third-party liability insurance mandatory, and to instead place greater focus on the prevention of accidents.
However, it said it strongly encourages users to take up insurance, in particular by food delivery companies for their employees. It also plans to raise awareness of and accessibility to existing avenues of seeking compensation, such as by working with the Singapore Mediation Centre.
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“In accepting these recommendations, the ministry agrees with the panel that the safety of all active mobility riders and public path users is paramount,” MOT said, adding that it will monitor the situation to assess if the regulations should be further refined.
“We will continue to strengthen our public education efforts on the safe sharing of paths and roads. We hope that all these measures will help to create a safe riding culture in Singapore.”