SINGAPORE - Tougher penalties will be imposed on users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) should current rules prove ineffective in deterring unsafe behaviour, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min.
The authorities are now closely monitoring the situation, he added in response to Mr Seah Kian Peng (Marine Parade GRC), who asked if present penalties were adequate.
Noting the range of penalties in force, Dr Lam cited a landmark case in February this year when a reckless PMD rider was jailed seven weeks for knocking down a pedestrian, who suffered brain injuries.
"This will serve as a precedent for future cases," he said in Parliament on Monday (Aug 5).
Fines, community service and detention orders have also been imposed on other PMD offenders, he noted.
Under such orders, offenders are jailed for a short time but will not have a criminal record after their release.
To arrest errant behaviour, the authorities are also stepping up enforcement efforts with technology and increased manpower.
But only a small number of riders are reckless, Dr Lam noted. "We don't want to just ban the use of PMD just because of this small group of irresponsible users while affecting the rest who are responsible."
He said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has significantly stepped up its enforcement efforts.
In the last 15 months, its officers detected more than 4,900 PMD-related offences and impounded more than 2,100 devices that failed to comply with required standards.
Since May this year, the LTA has doubled its team of enforcement officers to about 100 people, said Dr Lam.
The number of ground officers is expected to double again to about 200 by the end of this year.
To tighten enforcement, the LTA recently started an 18-month trial of mobile closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at hot spots to asses the effectiveness of video analytics software and radar technology in detecting offences like speeding.
It has also upgraded its MyTransport.SG app to let people submit photos or videos of errant PMD or power-assisted bicycle users.
Errant retailers who continue to sell uncertified devices or provide illegal modification services have been punished too.
A dozen of them have been taken to task since July last year, said Dr Lam, adding that it is vital to tackle such problems at the source.
"It is essential to tackle non-compliant devices at the source. We will not tolerate such behaviour and we will deal with them firmly and with the full brunt of the law," he said.