Debate on ministries’ budgets: Transport

CCTVs to detect offences, 40,000 e-scooters registered

The number of off-road accidents involving active mobility users has almost doubled, from 132 in 2017 to 251 last year. Mandatory registration for e-scooters, which started on Jan 2, will deter reckless riding behaviour.
The number of off-road accidents involving active mobility users has almost doubled, from 132 in 2017 to 251 last year. Mandatory registration for e-scooters, which started on Jan 2, will deter reckless riding behaviour.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Concerns about safety on paths shared by pedestrians and personal mobility device (PMD) users are valid, and there is a need for stronger enforcement to deter reckless riding, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min told Parliament yesterday.

To complement existing enforcement efforts, closed-circuit televisions will be introduced to better detect offences committed by active mobility users. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will start a trial using CCTVs at various hotspots later this year, he added.

Active mobility users refer to those who use bicycles, e-bikes, personal mobility aids and PMDs.

Dr Lam, who was speaking during the debate on his ministry's budget, said the number of off-road accidents involving active mobility users has almost doubled, from 132 in 2017 to 251 last year.

"I fully agree with the need for stronger enforcement to deter reckless riding behaviour," he said in response to queries from MPs about safety and active mobility.

"Indeed, we have stepped up enforcement efforts. LTA's team of active mobility enforcement officers has been carrying out regular checks at hotspots, using speed guns and weighing scales to enforce speed limit and device weight requirements," he added.

One of the measures that the LTA has introduced to address the rise in PMD-related accidents is mandatory registration for e-scooters. Registration, which costs $20, started on Jan 2. Users who register their e-scooters by the end of this month will have the fee waived.

Dr Lam said more than 40,000 scooters have been registered under the scheme, which is meant to deter reckless riding behaviour and help track down errant riders.

These efforts will have to be paired with work to educate users on responsible behaviour, he said.

As for the nascent shared-PMD industry - 14 companies have applied for the licence to operate services here - Dr Lam said the authorities will "proceed cautiously". "We will start conservatively, with new operators restricted to small fleet sizes of up to 500 PMDs under a one-year sandbox licence period," he said.

"This gives LTA time to assess sandbox licensees' ability to comply with regulatory requirements, before granting them a larger fleet size under a full licence," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2019, with the headline 'CCTVs to detect offences, 40,000 e-scooters registered'. Print Edition | Subscribe