2 retailers fined for selling illegally modified e-bikes

For selling illegally modified electric bicycles, two retailers have been fined $1,000 each, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday.

The retailers, Lim Geok Kay from Teck Bee Brothers Co at 220, Syed Alwi Road, and Chia Thuang Chiew from CPP Trading at Block 731, Yishun Street 72, were found selling e-bikes with throttles that could reach speeds higher than 35kmh without pedalling.

E-bikes are allowed on public roads and must meet a number of regulations, including a weight limit of 20kg and a maximum speed of 25kmh.

Modifying e-bikes with throttles is not allowed, as this means the e-bike will function like a motorcycle. Motorcycle riders need to have licences, unlike cyclists.

Having a throttle also means the e-bike can go faster than 25kmh without the rider having to pedal, which is a safety hazard both to the e-bike rider and other road users.

LTA said in its statement that the Road Traffic Act was amended earlier this year, "given the severity of such offences".

For selling a non-compliant power-assisted bicycle or illegally modifying one, a person can be charged in court, under the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2017.

If convicted, first-time offenders can be jailed for up to three months and/or fined up to $5,000. Repeat offenders face double the penalties.

Last October, three e-bike retailers were charged over selling and supplying illegally modified motorised bicycles.

As for those who ride a non-compliant power-assisted bicycle, they can be fined up to $300 for the first offence, and up to $500 for the second. Repeat offenders can be charged and have the bike seized.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2017, with the headline '2 retailers fined for selling illegally modified e-bikes'. Print Edition | Subscribe