At first glance, an e-scooter looks like a light, minimalist transport tool but it is capable of causing serious injuries in the event of an unexpected collision. With an average of three PMD-related accidents happening on a weekly basis in Singapore, it is no wonder that our “gah men” is stepping up on regulations to ensure everybody’s safety on the road. Whether you are a PMD (Personal Mobility Device) user or pedestrian, we highly encourage you to read these latest PMD-related guidelines to stay safe on the path!
Decoding the nation’s acronyms
Singaporeans are no stranger to abbreviations and acronyms but sometimes, there’s only so much that one can keep up with. In case you are unaware, here’s decoding the main aspects of SMH^ moments on the road.
First off, LTA (Land Transport Authority) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Transport, which spearheads land transport developments in our island city. The Walk, Cycle, Ride SG is an initiative by LTA to transform the way we travel in Singapore.
AMA is the Active Mobility Act that contains a set of rules and code of conduct for cyclists, and riders of PMDs and power-assisted bicycles (PABs). The AMA also provides LTA with legislative and enforcement powers to regulate the use of bicycles, PMDs and PABs on public paths, as well as the sale of these devices.
PMD refers to Personal Mobility Devices, which are any assistive devices that facilitate individual human transportation. The list includes kick-scooters, electric scooters, hoverboards, unicycles, etc.
PAB refers to Powered-Assisted Bicycles, which basically are your motorised bikes or e-bikes.
PMA refers to Personal Mobility Aids, which are devices such as wheelchairs, motorised wheelchairs or mobility scooters which are designed to carry an individual who is unable to walk or has walking difficulties.
^SMH = Shaking my head
5 things to note about LTA new rules for PMDs
1. Speed Limit at 10kmh
Being hit by a PMD is like being struck with a force that’s nine times of an average person’s punch – we sure hope that it don’t happen to any of us. With that in mind, a lower speed allows the rider to better control his/her PMD and avoid collisions. The current speed limits for e-scooter/PMD riders are 15kmh on footpaths and 25kmh on shared paths. Starting early 2019, speed limit on footpaths for PMD users would be reduced to 10kmh.
What happens if you are caught speeding with your PMD? New offenders can be fined up to S$1,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. Penalties may be doubled for repeat offenders. Your PMD can also be forfeited. Note that PMDs are not allowed to be on roads.
2. Registration with LTA
Have you registered your e-scooter? It is mandatory to register your e-scooter with LTA starting from January 2019. Prior to your registration, ensure that your e-scooter and all other PMDs comply with the following:
• Size: max. 70cm wide
• Weight: max. 20 kg
• Speed: max. 10 km/h
Good news for those with hoverboards – you are not required to register (as yet).
So what happens if your PMD does not comply with the regulations? The penalty for new offenders can be up to S$5,000 fine and/or 3 months jail terms! Repeat offenders face S$10,000 fine and/or 6 months jail terms!
While cyclists and e-bike riders riding on the roads are mandated to wear helmets, this helmet rule does not apply to riders of e-scooters or other PMDs. Even so, we do recommend that you wear a helmet for safety purposes.
4. “Stop and Look Out” at roads crossings
This may sound like a no-brainer but records have shown that this (best) practice on the road has been neglected. Thankfully, as of early 2019, it will be mandatory for all active mobility device users to stop and look out for traffic before riding across at a slow speed. Motorists are also encouraged to slow down at crossings for all road crossers.
5. New PMD fire safety rule
Apparently, motorised PMDs can be dangerous even when they are immobile. Since 2016, there have been 80 fire incidents involving motorised PMDs! With PMDs contributing to the increase of fire accidents in residential estates, it is no wonder that PMDs must conform to fire safety standards. By 2021, it is compulsory for all motorised PMDs to conform with UL2272 fire safety standards, which is believed to improve safety of motorised PMDs against fire and electrical hazards.
The challenging part? Retailers commented that the majority of PMD users in Singapore will have to discard their current devices since most of the motorised PMDs sold to date are not compliant with UL2272 fire safety standards.
Your safety matters
Finally, while bicycles and PMDs make for great last mile solutions in our progress towards a greener and healthier Singapore, due diligence is required for the safety of everyone in public areas. Just like having a Personal Mobility Insurance, staying updated on the relevant regulations and code of conduct is a form of protection against unexpected situations on the road.
Information is correct as at 30 October 2018. For more information on ePROTECT mobility insurance, please click here.