E-bike rules timely, appropriate

As a retailer of electric bicycles, I find the Land Transport Authority's new regulations timely and appropriate ("LTA clamps down on motorised bikes"; Nov 20).

They target the increasing trend of illegal modifications on e-bikes, including adding throttles, high-powered motors, motorcycle suspension kits and high-voltage batteries.

With these modifications, an e-bike can reach speeds exceeding 60kmh.

It leads to riders behaving recklessly, posing a substantial threat to other road users.

They also do not have insurance coverage for accidents on these vehicles.

The new regulations follow the European Standard EN15194, which encompasses a wide range of safety considerations and is up to date to take in the current technology specifications of e-bikes.

Approved e-bikes would be considered very safe for users.

The 20kg weight limit also reduces the possibility of modifications, since heavier bicycles are needed to support high-speed modifications.

Finally, the regulations can target user behaviour as well.

E-bikes are not dangerous on their own.

It is through the dangerous riding practices that they become threats to other road users.

The regulations the LTA has adopted effectively address the dangers posed by e-bikes, while still allowing commuters to use the technology to move us towards our vision of sustainable transport.

Chen Dihua

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2015, with the headline 'E-bike rules timely, appropriate'. Print Edition | Subscribe