Allow mobility devices, bikes on footpaths: Panel

A cyclist and a pedestrian at Tampines, on Mar 17 2016.
A cyclist and a pedestrian at Tampines, on Mar 17 2016. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Cyclists and pedestrians could soon be sharing the same space, as an advisory panel has proposed that bicycles and personal mobility devices be allowed on footpaths.

However, electric bicycles should keep to roads and cycling paths, owing to their speed.

Bicycles, scooters and other two-wheeled devices are already commonly ridden on pavements, these being safer than vehicular roads, and the proposed changes would permit this practice.

The 14-member panel set out where and what type of mobility devices are allowed, as well as rules such as speed limits and a code of conduct. Pedestrians should always have the right of way, it said.

On electric bicycles, the panel recommended that they be registered, to make it easier to take action against errant riders and illegal modifications.

Last year, 17 cyclists or their pillion riders were killed in accidents while 590 were injured.

The proposed guidelines move the country closer to the Government's vision of a "car-lite" nation, and come amid a recent surge in the number of people cycling and using mobility devices.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2016, with the headline 'Allow mobility devices, bikes on footpaths: Panel'. Print Edition | Subscribe