More e-scooter users caught riding on the roads

A man riding a personal mobility device in the second lane of the Pan-Island Expressway on Nov 26, 2017.

SINGAPORE - On average, 40 personal mobility device (PMD) users - mainly electric scooter riders - have been caught every month between January and November for riding on the roads.

This is an 18 per cent increase from the monthly average of 34 PMD users caught last year for taking to the streets, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said, in response to queries from The Straits Times.

"The increase reflects a rising usage of PMDs and a step-up in enforcement efforts," the authority said on Tuesday (Dec 12).

PMDs will come under more regulations when the Active Mobility Act comes into effect. The LTA said on Tuesday that this will happen either later this year or early next year. The Bill was passed in Parliament in January.

With the Active Mobility Act in force, users must ensure that PMDs adhere to certain specifications - a maximum weight of 20kg, a width of no more than 700mm and a top speed of 25kmh.

For reckless riders, the LTA and other agencies, such as the National Parks Board, will be given powers to issue summonses that could result in fines of up to $5,000, or jail terms of up to six months.

The unsafe use of PMDs - which are banned on public roads - has been in the spotlight recently, with the death of a 52-year-old e-scooter user after an accident with a double-decker bus in Kaki Bukit on Nov 30.

Another e-scooter rider, 16, was taken to hospital after an accident with a car in Woodlands on the same day.

A video clip showing an e-scooter rider on the Pan-Island Expressway went viral on social media last month. The man was caught by the LTA and the Traffic Police.

The LTA said that the bulk of the PMDs it has seized are mainly e-scooters, along with some electric skateboards and hoverboards.

The users caught were riding mostly on minor roads, with a "small minority" nabbed for being on major roads and expressways, the LTA added.

Those who use unauthorised vehicles such as e-scooters on roads face a fine of up to $2,000, or a jail term of up to three months, for the first offence.

To deal with the menace, the LTA said it has doubled the number of enforcement officers from 24 in June to more than 50 currently. Its officers are also being equipped with speed guns to catch PMD users speeding on public paths.

"As the active mobility landscape is still evolving, the size of the enforcement team will be reviewed from time to time to correspond to the needs on the ground," an LTA spokesman said.

The authority said it is also working with PMD retailers to practise responsible marketing and to educate buyers on the rules and conduct for PMD use.

Since April last year, LTA has also partnered community volunteers to set up Active Mobility Patrol teams, to raise awareness of safe riding habits and rules.

There are more than 800 volunteers from more than 50 teams.

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