Nearly 130 PMDs seized in May for flouting rules

A rider found displaying a false identification mark on his e-scooter.
A rider found displaying a false identification mark on his e-scooter. PHOTOS: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY/ FACEBOOK
Clockwise from far right: A rider found displaying a false identification mark on his e-scooter; a user caught riding a non-compliant PMD on a road in Ang Mo Kio; a rider who was found using a PMD on a road, and who failed to stop when requested to b
A user nabbed for speeding on his unicycle along a footpath; PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY/ FACEBOOK
Clockwise from far right: A rider found displaying a false identification mark on his e-scooter; a user caught riding a non-compliant PMD on a road in Ang Mo Kio; a rider who was found using a PMD on a road, and who failed to stop when requested to b
A PMD that weighed 83kg - way above the 20kg limit.PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY/ FACEBOOK
Clockwise from far right: A rider found displaying a false identification mark on his e-scooter; a user caught riding a non-compliant PMD on a road in Ang Mo Kio; a rider who was found using a PMD on a road, and who failed to stop when requested to b
A rider who was found using a PMD on a road, and who failed to stop when requested to by LTA officers.PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY/ FACEBOOK
Clockwise from far right: A rider found displaying a false identification mark on his e-scooter; a user caught riding a non-compliant PMD on a road in Ang Mo Kio; a rider who was found using a PMD on a road, and who failed to stop when requested to b
A user caught riding a non-compliant PMD on a road in Ang Mo Kio.PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY/ FACEBOOK

LTA officers also caught 325 errant users in enforcement operations islandwide

Nearly 130 personal mobility devices (PMDs) were seized by the authorities last month in an ongoing drive to deter errant users.

The seizures come amid growing debate over whether such devices should be allowed to share the pavement with pedestrians.

In a video posted on Facebook yesterday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it had impounded a total of 157 devices - 127 PMDs and 30 e-bikes - for offences such as not complying with regulations and riding on the wrong paths.

LTA officers caught 325 users last month in enforcement operations islandwide. Of these, 151 rode on the wrong paths while 92 used devices that failed to comply with regulations.

Under the Active Mobility Act, which came into force in May last year, PMD users can have their devices seized if they ride on the road, speed or if their devices exceed stipulated limits like the maximum weight of 20kg.

The latest seizures come after LTA officers impounded more than 400 devices between February and April this year.

In all, more than 3,700 offences were committed under the Active Mobility Act in the first year.

 
 
 
 

Mr Denis Koh, chairman of PMD enthusiast group Big Wheel Scooters Singapore, said that while enforcement may deter potential offenders, education would be more effective in the longer term.

"Commercial operators should make use of programmes like the Safe Riding Programme to educate their staff on safe riding techniques, especially since they will be in the public spaces more often," he added.

More rules governing PMDs will kick in next month, with those found riding unregistered e-scooters on public paths facing a maximum fine of $2,000 or up to three months' jail for a first offence.

More than 75,000 e-scooters have been registered since the beginning of this year, said the LTA.

Concerns over the potential conflict between PMDs and pedestrians arose recently, with Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai calling for the devices to be banned from Housing Board void decks at a Parliament sitting last month - after one of his residents got into an accident with a PMD user at her block.

Following the debate, readers wrote letters to The Straits Times calling for Singapore to follow in the footsteps of France and Germany, which banned the use of e-scooters on pavements last month.

In response, the LTA said such a ban was not the solution, and that it was taking a "more holistic approach" that included enforcement, public education and enhancing infrastructure.

Dr Teo Ho Pin, coordinating chairman of the 15 town councils under the People's Action Party, told ST that the by-laws of the town councils are still being reviewed to bring them in line with the Active Mobility Act, including the possibility of banning PMDs from void decks.

Singapore University of Social Sciences urban transport expert Park Byung Joon believes the number of PMDs allowed should be capped, saying Singapore's infrastructure and regulations cannot cope with the growing number of devices.

"Otherwise, it is unproductive to keep talking about what would be effective measures (in ensuring safety)," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2019, with the headline 'Nearly 130 PMDs seized in May for flouting rules'. Print Edition | Subscribe