Parliament: 90 accidents, with 4 deaths, involving e-bikes and personal mobility devices in first half of 2017

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is stepping up enforcement, and its officers have issued over 1,400 advisories for unsafe riding.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is stepping up enforcement, and its officers have issued over 1,400 advisories for unsafe riding.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - There were about 90 accidents in the first half of this year (2017), involving electric bicycles (e-bikes) as well as Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) such as e-scooters.

The accidents, which mostly took place on the roads, resulted in four deaths and about 90 injuries, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Monday (Oct 2).

This is believed to be the first time authorities are releasing consolidated numbers for e-bike and PMD accidents.

In the whole of last year, there were 54 accidents involving e-bikes, up from 39 in 2015. But the number of fatal accidents involving e-bikes dropped from five in 2015 to three last year.

Mr Khaw gave the updated numbers in a written response to a question filed in Parliament by MP Sitoh Yih Pin (Potong Pasir).

Mr Sitoh had asked for statistics on accidents involving e-bikes and PMDs, and what the Government's plans were to mitigate these incidents.

In reply, Mr Khaw said that rules on safe riding behaviour - including speed limits and device specifications - will come into force by the end of this year (2017), following the passing of the Active Mobility Act in January.

Through this, there will be stiff penalties for offences like reckless riding, such as fines of up to $5,000, or jail terms of up to six months,

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is also stepping up enforcement, and its officers have issued over 1,400 advisories for unsafe riding, Mr Khaw added.

 

Enforcement efforts will be complemented with public education and outreach programmes, Mr Khaw noted, such as the Safe Riding Programme, which will be launched later this year.

More than 800 people have also volunteered for the Active Mobility Patrol scheme, to carry out patrols within their constituencies, and educate fellow residents on safe riding practices.

In a separate question filed, Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan also asked for the number of accidents involving illegally-modified e-bikes.

Mr Khaw wrote in his reply that authorities currently do not track such figures.

"However, moving forward, LTA will work towards tracking such cases as part of enforcement actions against errant power-assisted bicycle users," Mr Khaw said.

In August, the LTA kicked off the mandatory registration of all e-bikes, and users have until Jan 31, 2018 to comply with this requirement.

The registration of such bicycles aims to enhance enforcement against reckless riding and the use of non-compliant electric two-wheelers.