SINGAPORE: E-scooter riders will have to pass a mandatory theory test and be at least 16 years old to use the device on public paths, if recommendations put forward by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) are taken up by the Government.
The panel, which was set up in 2015 to look at regulations governing the use of personal mobility devices, bicycles and other equipment, submitted their latest recommendations to Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan on Friday (Sep 27).
It set out the following recommendations:
- To mandate, as a start, that businesses procure third-party liability insurance to cover e-scooter riders who are riding in the course of work.
- To impose a minimum age requirement of 16 to use an e-scooter on public paths. Those below the age of 16 can continue to ride under adult supervision.
- To mandate a theory test requirement for e-scooter users, prior to being able to ride on public paths.
- To disallow the use of mobile phones when riding an active mobility device on public paths, unless the mobile phone is mounted or used in a hands-free manner.
- To introduce a Code of Conduct to guide pedestrians on how to share paths safely with other pedestrians and active mobility device users.
The recommendations come in the wake of a fatal collision involving an e-scooter rider and an elderly cyclist.
The cyclist, 65-year-old Ong Bee Eng, died from her injuries after the accident.
Acknowledging the incident, panel chairman Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim noted that PMDs have ben a "debated issue" over the last few months.
"While some are not for it, there are others who have come forward to share with us how these new transport devices have helped them in their daily lives - and presented new options for mobility and employment," he said in a Facebook post on Friday.
"This tragic incident underscores the need to implement AMAP’s recommendations swiftly, and continue stepping up on education and enforcement to create a safe riding culture."
Separately, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min confirmed the Ministry of Transport had received the panel's latest recommendations.
"We will study these recommendations and provide our response in due course," he said in a Facebook post.
Dr Lam also expressed his thoughts over Mdm Ong's death and wrote of the need for regulations to keep members of the public safe.
"Mdm Ong, a cyclist, had passed away from her injuries after a reckless e-scooter rider on a non-compliant device collided into her on a shared cycling path," he said. "We have regulations in place for good reasons – to keep all path users safe."
"Unfortunately, there are irresponsible individuals out there who choose to flout the rules – and their actions have hurt other path users and their families."
The panel consists of representatives from active mobility stakeholder groups including seniors, youths, cyclists, motorists, users and grassroots leaders.
Last year, it proposed several sets of measures to improve path safety, including the mandatory registration of e-scooters and the lowering of speed limits on footpaths.
These were later accepted and implemented by the Government.
Meanwhile, ahead of a ban next July on the use of e-scooters that do not meet safety standards, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has also announced that owners with registered non-UL2272 e-scooters will receive a S$100 incentive if they agree to dispose of their devices early.