LTA cracks down on reckless e-scooter riders amid calls to ban devices

Above: An e-scooter user is seen riding beside a bus along Aljunied Road in a video taken last Friday that went viral.
Above: An e-scooter user is seen riding beside a bus along Aljunied Road in a video taken last Friday that went viral. PHOTOS: LTA/FACEBOOK, FACEBOOK/ROADS.SG
Above: A Land Transport Authority officer stopping an e-scooter rider who had been speeding on Tuesday in Upper Aljunied Road.
Above: A Land Transport Authority officer stopping an e-scooter rider who had been speeding on Tuesday in Upper Aljunied Road. PHOTOS: LTA/FACEBOOK, FACEBOOK/ROADS.SG

Spate of complaints, videos of dangerous riding spur action; two e-scooters seized

Two e-scooters were seized by the authorities over the past week as part of a crackdown on reckless riders, while calls have been made by the public to ban the devices after riders were caught on video speeding on roads.

After complaints by members of the public, several enforcement operations were carried out over the past few weeks to clamp down on reckless e-scooter users on roads as well as footpaths, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday.

CALLS TO BAN E-SCOOTERS

One e-scooter was seized on Tuesday in operations carried out in Upper Aljunied Road. The rider, who had been speeding on the road, is currently assisting the LTA with investigations.

Another e-scooter was confiscated on Saturday in Yishun.

Said the LTA: "We take this opportunity to remind all e-scooter riders that it is an offence to use their personal mobility devices on the road and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any rider found doing so."

Those who use unauthorised vehicles such as e-scooters on roads face a fine of up to $2,000 or a jail term of up to three months for the first offence if convicted.

  • RULES FOR E-SCOOTERS BEING CONSIDERED

  • 15kmh
    Maximum speed on footpaths

    25kmh
    Maximum speed on cycling and shared paths

News of the clampdown comes after a number of videos depicting unsafe e-scooter-riding went viral over the past week.

E-scooters: Calls for ban or stricter regulations

In a video taken last Friday, a man on an e-scooter, said to have been travelling at about 50kmh along Aljunied Road, is seen riding beside a bus. Another showed an e-scooter user riding in the middle lane of what is believed to be Serangoon Road, surrounded by traffic.

A third video showed six e-scooter users, said to be moving at about 80kmh or 90kmh, racing down a deserted stretch of road. It is not known when or where the video was taken.

These clips sparked calls by members of the public for stricter regulations on the devices, with some saying that they should be banned.

Mr Victor Lee, general manager of e-scooter distributor Falcon PEV, however, said that banning was "too serious a call", given that most users are law-abiding. He added that as an additional measure, e-scooter users could be licensed.

The authorities are currently considering rules which limit how fast these e-scooters and other personal mobility devices, such as hoverboards, should be allowed to travel.

They will be permitted on footpaths at a maximum speed of 15kmh, and on cycling and shared paths at up to 25kmh. They should be no more than 700mm wide and have a maximum unladen weight of 20kg.

The chairman of e-scooter enthusiast group Big Wheel Scooter Singapore, Mr Denis Koh, who sat on the Active Mobility Advisory Panel that proposed these regulations, has warned members that the group will not hesitate to give information on errant riders to the authorities.

Mr Lee said distributors and retailers had a responsibility to sell devices that meet the proposed criteria, and that riders should not modify their devices such that they become unsafe.

Some members of the public have called for further measures though, such as making registration and third-party insurance for e-scooters mandatory.

Ms Winda Mohamed,33, said further regulations are a must for e-scooters. The corporate communications manager said she saw a mother and child riding an e-scooter together on the road while she was driving a few months back.

"The father and another child were riding on another e-scooter. None of them was wearing a helmet, so it was very dangerous."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2016, with the headline 'LTA cracks down on reckless e-scooter riders'. Print Edition | Subscribe