E-scooter users will have to register their devices from the second half of this year as the Government tries to rein in reckless riders.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said in Parliament yesterday that the Government had accepted the Active Mobility Advisory Panel's proposal last month to make such registration mandatory. The panel was formed in 2015 to develop a set of rules governing the use of footpaths and cycling paths by cyclists and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs).
"Registering e-scooters will help deter reckless behaviour, accord more responsibility to the users and facilitate enforcement officers in tracking down errant users," Dr Lam said during the debate on his ministry's budget.
He added that the process of registration will be kept "as simple and low-cost as possible".
As part of the registration pro-cess, users will have to provide their personal particulars as well as paste identification stickers prominently on their devices, and ensure that these meet requirements such as a maximum weight of 20kg and a top speed of no more than 25kmh.
But other PMDs such as hoverboards will not require registration as they have lower speeds and their usage is less widespread, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
Several MPs had raised the issue of reckless riding of PMDs, with Mr Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC) saying the toes of one of his residents had been fractured by an e-scooter food delivery rider at the Chinese Garden.
There were 110 accidents involving e-scooters in the first nine months of last year. Of these, about 30 took place on public paths and involved collisions between pedestrians and PMD users, while the rest took place at road junctions and on roads when users were riding illegally alongside vehicular traffic.
Responding to Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC), who raised the issue of whether the speed limit for PMDs needs to be revised, Dr Lam said the panel will look into the issue as well as matters such as the need for an insurance and compensation framework.
"The panel will look into these issues, weighing the need for these initiatives against the impact on the large majority of responsible users, and taking into account the practices of other jurisdictions," he said, adding that its recommendations will be published at year end.
The LTA said more details regarding the registration will be provided at a later date.
The move to register e-scooters comes after a similar initiative was introduced for e-bikes last August, aimed at enhancing enforcement against reckless riding and the use of non-compliant devices. As of January, more than 13,000 e-bikes have been registered with the LTA.
Mr Arif Abdul Hamid, 45, who heads e-scooter enthusiast group Singapore Inokim Riders, said mandatory registration could help ease concerns about errant riders, but was uncertain if it will stamp out reckless riding. "There are too many e-scooters and not enough enforcement officers," he said.