SINGAPORE: Having a mandatory bicycle registration scheme and insurance plan for users of Personal Mobility Devices (PMD) to cover third party liability would be too onerous and costly for the vast majority of users who behave responsibly and safely, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo in Parliament on Monday (Oct 10).
“Only power-assisted bicycles, which travel on roads and are typically prone to modification, warrant registration, said Mrs Teo, adding that the Active Mobility Advisory Panel had already considered that suggestion before submitting a list of recommendations to the Government in March. “The Government concurred with this position.”
Mrs Teo cited cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen, which have a strong culture of active mobility but do not mandate registration or insurance.
“Like in those cities, pedestrians injured in accidents in Singapore can obtain compensation by initiating civil lawsuits or through private settlements. If the offender is prosecuted and convicted in criminal court, the court will consider if compensation to the victim should be paid.”
Mrs Teo also revealed that there were 12 reported on-road accidents involving collisions between pedestrians and bicycles or PMDs since last year.
“The careless behaviour of a small minority of users has caused accidents, and led some members of the public to oppose their proliferation. It would be unfortunate if we allowed the careless behaviour of this small minority to prevent the large majority of responsible and considerate cyclists and personal mobility device users from enjoying the benefits of such travel modes,” said Mrs Teo.
Several Members of Parliament including Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan asked whether there are any measures to reduce the frequency of accidents caused PMDs or electric bikes colliding with pedestrians.
Mrs Teo said the sensible approach is to adopt measures that will help prevent accidents. She cited the list of recommendations that was submitted by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel. The recommendations include having cyclists and PMD users to observe a speed limit of 15km/h on footpaths and 25km/h on cycling path and stepping up enforcement efforts.
Over 700 cyclists and PMD users have been caught riding recklessly. LTA has conducted close to 20 joint operations with the Traffic Police to clamp down on reckless riding behaviour, and will continue with such enforcement operations, said Mrs Teo.
The recommendations were accepted by the Government and will be debated in Parliament, she added.