LTA slams brakes on speeding and unsafe riding

It steps up vigilance against errant users of e-bikes and other personal mobility devices

Twenty electric scooters have been seized since May after their owners were found riding on the roads, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) revealed yesterday.

They were confiscated as part of the LTA's efforts to deter reckless riding by cyclists and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) such as motorised kick scooters and skateboards.

Anyone found riding PMDs and other "non-compliant vehicles" on the roads can be fined $2,000 and face a jail term of up to three months for the first offence.

For subsequent offences, they can be fined up to $5,000 and jailed six months.

The LTA has stepped up its enforcement efforts in the past six months, holding more than 560 operations against errant PMD riders islandwide, including in areas such as Geylang, Jurong and Punggol.

An e-scooter user being stopped by the LTA’s mobility enforcement team. The authority has issued more than 860 advisories to people found riding bicycles, e-bikes and other PMDs dangerously on footpaths and cycling paths. PHOTO: LTA

  • 20

    Number of electric scooters seized by the LTA in enforcement drive since May


    Number of summonses over the sale or use of non-compliant e-bikes in the first nine months of this year


    Number of advisories issued for unsafe riding on footpaths and cycling paths


    Number of enforcement operations by LTA

In the first nine months of this year, it also issued 1,433 summonses over the sale or use of non-compliant e-bikes.

Under current regulations, the maximum speed for e-bikes is 25kmh and they cannot weigh more than 20kg.

They also cannot possess a throttle, which allows them to move without pedalling by the user.

Similar laws are expected to be brought in for e-scooters and other PMDs by the end of the year.

Anyone found riding illegal e-bikes can be fined $300 for their first offence and $500 for a second offence. Repeat offenders risk being charged in court and having their e-bikes seized.

Last year, there were 1,863 cases of illegal e-bikes being sold or used in Singapore.

The authority has also issued more than 860 advisories to people found riding bicycles, e-bikes and other PMDs dangerously on footpaths and cycling paths.

The safety of e-bikes and other PMDs, such as e-scooters, has come under greater scrutiny after a spate of accidents involving the devices in recent months.

Last month, Mr Ang Yee Fong, 25, and Mr Ong Zi Quan, 18, died after being hit by a trailer while riding their e-bikes near the junction of Pandan Crescent along West Coast Highway.

In September, 53-year-old housewife Ang Liu Kiow required brain surgery after she was hit by an e-scooter in Pasir Ris.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, said increased enforcement by the authorities is "a move in the right direction".

He also called for PMD users to buy third-party insurance to cover the risk of accidents.

E-scooter user Shahreen Sace said reckless PMD users were "irresponsible" and that greater enforcement would help get rid of the "bad apples".

"If you are responsible and ride safely, I don't think the authorities will stop you," said the 36-year-old maintenance technician.

The LTA said most of those caught were found to be speeding and "travelling dangerously" on devices with top speeds of 70kmh, and were "endangering themselves as well as other road users".

It added: "LTA will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any rider found to be riding recklessly or in a manner that causes harm to pedestrians and other road users."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'LTA slams brakes on speeding and unsafe riding'. Subscribe