Lower speed limit and other new rules for bikes and PMDs to kick in from Feb 1

While the new rules were largely accepted by the public, the revised speed limit on footpaths has sparked a robust debate.
While the new rules were largely accepted by the public, the revised speed limit on footpaths has sparked a robust debate.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Cyclists and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) will no longer be able to ride at speeds above 10kmh on footpaths from Feb 1 onwards, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Friday (Jan 18).

In addition, cyclists and PMD users will have to stop and look out for vehicles at road crossings. All cyclists will have to wear helmets when riding on roads.

Meanwhile, personal mobility aids such as motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters will also be required to have a maximum device speed of 10kmh.

The LTA said in a statement: "These rules... are part of ongoing efforts to foster greater rider responsibility and encourage safe sharing of our paths and roads."

The rules were first announced by the Government in September 2018, after it accepted the recommendations of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel.

While the changes were largely accepted by the public, the revised speed limit on footpaths has sparked a robust debate.

Both cyclists and users of PMDs questioned the practicality of getting them to travel at what was essentially just a fast running pace.

 
 
 
 

Under previous rules, cyclists and PMD users can ride on footpaths at a speed of up to 15kmh.

But LTA said lowering the speed limit to 10kmh will allow all path users more time to react to unforeseen circumstances, thus reducing the risk of accidents and the severity of injuries should they happen.

On the mandatory use of helmets by cyclists, LTA said this rule is for the cyclists' own safety as they are more vulnerable compared with drivers and riders of other vehicles on the road.

Regarding the "stop and look" rule, motorists will also have to slow down and look out for people crossing the road.

LTA said this will help to improve the predictability of behaviour of all users and give both device users and motorists more reaction time.

Anyone caught flouting any of the three rules listed above can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed for up to three months upon conviction for the first offence.

LTA said the maximum device speed of 10kmh for motorised personal mobility aids will safeguard the use of such devices for only those who genuinely need them, and prevent the abuse and modifications of such devices to circumvent PMD regulations.

Anyone convicted of using a non-compliant version of such devices on public paths can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to three months for the first offence.

Retailers who display or advertise non-compliant personal mobility aids can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed for up to three months for the first offence.