SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Tuesday (Oct 16) that it has waived the S$150 towing fee for a non-compliant e-scooter it impounded in Bedok several months ago.
The move comes days after an LTA letter to the owner of the e-scooter that was impounded was widely circulated on social media.
The Oct 5 letter, titled Riding a Non-Compliant E-Scooter, charged that the owner had used the non-compliant device along a footpath at Bedok North Road on Jul 30.
The e-scooter, which weighed 27.7kg, exceeded the permissible weight of 20kg and was therefore impounded for investigation purposes, the letter said.
In the letter, the owner of the e-scooter was asked to attend an interview on Oct 15 to assist in the investigation.
The letter also said that the owner was "required to settle a flat towing fee of S$150 and a storage charge of S$21.40 per day from the date of impound".
The total storage charge would have come up to more than S$1,600 for 77 days of storage from when the e-scooter was impounded to the date of the interview on Oct 15.
If the owner did not settle the "necessary arrears", the letter said, legal proceedings would be taken to "recover the outstanding towing and storage fees".
In an email response to queries from Channel NewsAsia, LTA said that it is aware of the letter being circulated.
LTA also stated that - contrary to what was detailed in the letter - storage fees are not charged for non-compliant devices that are forfeited.
Storage fees are only charged if owners of compliant devices that are impounded fail to collect their property after "a grace period" following investigations, LTA said. It did not elaborate on how the grace period is determined.
As such, "there is no need for the e-scooter owner to pay for storage costs", LTA told Channel NewsAsia.
LTA also said that it decided to waive the towing fee of S$150 "in view of the owner’s extenuating circumstances". It did not elaborate on what those circumstances were.
Towing fees, LTA said, are imposed as a deterrent and to recover expenses incurred by the authority in carrying out enforcement functions.
According to Chapter 276, Section 657 of the Road Traffic Act, the removal charge for motorcycles, bicycles, power-assisted bicycles or personal mobility devices is S$150, while the storage charge is S$21.40.
Channel NewsAsia has reached out to LTA for more information about the circumstances under which towing fees and storage charges may be waived, as well as more details on why a storage fee was apparently to be paid on a non-compliant device, as seen in the original letter.