6,000 warnings issued to e-scooter riders last month; zero-tolerance policy kicks in

The LTA said it will step up patrols to strictly enforce the zero-tolerance policy towards riding e-scooters on footpaths. The number of registered e-scooters has also gone down to 75,000 in the wake of the ban. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The LTA said it will step up patrols to strictly enforce the zero-tolerance policy towards riding e-scooters on footpaths. The number of registered e-scooters has also gone down to 75,000 in the wake of the ban. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

More than 6,000 warnings were issued to e-scooter riders who were caught riding on footpaths last month, almost double the number from November, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday.

The figures were released a day before a zero-tolerance policy for the offence takes effect. From today, those caught riding on footpaths can be fined up to $2,000, jailed for up to three months, or both.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the LTA said it will step up patrols islandwide to ensure strict enforcement of the law.

"Our roving (closed-circuit television cameras) will continue to be deployed in different locations to augment enforcement efforts," it said.

"In addition, we also receive reports of errant PMD (personal mobility device) riders from the public through the MyTransport.SG mobile application."

The move to ban e-scooters from footpaths here started on Nov 5. It followed a series of e-scooter-related accidents around the island, one of which led to the death of a 65-year-old cyclist, while other cases left pedestrians injured.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said last month that the ban came about because the current cycling infrastructure was "not adequate for the unexpectedly large number of e-scooters".

There is currently a 440km network of cycling paths in Singapore.

The Government has said it is looking into the possibility of speeding up plans for expanding the network to about 1,300km. Work for this was originally expected to be completed by 2030.

There were 100,000 registered e-scooters in Singapore when the ban was announced in November, but the landscape has changed significantly since. The LTA said yesterday that the number of registered e-scooters in Singapore now stands at over 75,000, a 25 per cent drop from the figure prior to the ban.

 
 
 

An early disposal scheme aimed at getting owners to dispose of e-scooters that do not have the UL2272 safety certification was responsible for the drop in numbers.

The scheme, which gives owners of registered e-scooters $100 for trading in the devices, has been popular after the e-scooter footpath ban kicked in.

The early disposal incentive ended yesterday, but owners will still be able to dispose of their devices for free at designated disposal points up till the end of March.

The list of disposal points is available on the LTA's website.

"As at Dec 31, we have received close to 30,000 applications from owners to dispose of their registered e-scooters," said the LTA.

"Owners are encouraged to dispose of their non-UL2272 certified devices early to protect themselves and their neighbours from unnecessary fire risks."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2020, with the headline '6,000 warnings issued to e-scooter riders last month; zero-tolerance policy kicks in'. Print Edition | Subscribe