SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority is tightening technical requirements for motorised bicycles and has rolled out far stiffer penalties as the number of offences related to these two-wheelers soar.
The number of summonses issued for the use or sale of illegal motorised bikes has risen from just 11 in 2008 to 1,280 in the first 10 months of this year.
With immediate effect, the fine for first-time offenders will be trebled to $300. Repeat offenders face a fine of $500, up from $200 previously.
Repeat offenders may also be charged in court and have their bicycles seized. Retailers found selling non-compliant motorised bikes or modifying these bikes illegally will continue to be charged in court.
The LTA said Thursday it is also reviewing possible amendments to the legislation "to further increase the penalties".
And from Dec 1, new motorised bicycles must meet the European Standard EN15194 and not weigh more than 20kg. However, the maximum output of their motors is raised to 250W, from 200W currently.
The LTA said bikes which meet EN15194 - which is adopted by 33 countries across Europe as well as in Australia - are harder to modify.
The LTA said the move reflect "significant safety concerns" that these bikes pose.
From Dec 1, bike retailers may submit applications for type approval of models that meet these tighter technical requirements - similar to what car importers must do. Applications can be made to LTA-authorised vehicle inspection centres, and bicycles which pass will be affixed with a more prominent orange seal.
Bikes which have been approved under the current requirements and affixed with a blue seal will still be allowed for use on public roads.
Members of the public who spot illegally-modified motorised bikes can alert the LTA via 1800-CALL-LTA or firstname.lastname@example.org.