Speed limits on footpaths for cyclists, PMD users cut to 10kmh

The Government has accepted all the recommendations made by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel for safer path sharing. The new measures, which will be implemented early next year, will also require PMD users and cyclists to "stop and look" out for ve
The Government has accepted all the recommendations made by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel for safer path sharing. The new measures, which will be implemented early next year, will also require PMD users and cyclists to "stop and look" out for vehicles at road crossings.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

New rules to be introduced early next year will require cyclists and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) to lower their speed limits on footpaths from 15kmh to 10kmh.

The move, however, found little support among some cyclists, who told The Straits Times that it is difficult to manoeuvre at 10kmh.

Enforcing the limit would also "burden the Government in terms of enforcement and, in turn, tax-payers", said National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der Horng.

They were commenting on a Transport Ministry statement yesterday that the Government has accepted all the recommendations made by an advisory panel for safer path sharing, and they will be implemented early next year.

The recommendations of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel, submitted on Aug 24, include making it mandatory for cyclists to wear helmets when riding on roads.

This will not apply to users of PMDs, which are not allowed on roads under the Road Traffic Act.

Another requirement that will be introduced is that PMD users and cyclists have to "stop and look" out for vehicles at road crossings.

There will also be a speed limit of 10kmh imposed on motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters to prevent "able-bodied users from abusing such devices to circumvent stricter regulations on PMDs" and "safeguard the use of such devices for those with genuine mobility challenges", said the ministry.

It also strongly encourages the take-up of third-party liability insurance, "in particular by food delivery companies for their employees".

But the ministry said that it does not recommend mandating the insurance, to place "greater focus on upstream prevention of accidents".

 
 

It added that a registration regime for e-scooters will be implemented in January next year.

"In accepting these recommendations, the ministry agrees with the panel that the safety of all active mobility riders and public path users is paramount," said the statement.

Most cyclists interviewed said that they support the move to make helmet use mandatory on roads, but some are against lowering the speed limit.

Dr Lee suggested that instead of introducing these regulations, the authorities should ban PMDs on footpaths altogether or build dedicated pathways for these users.

Mountain biker Jefferson Ng, 56, said it is not easy for cyclists to manoeuvre at 10kmh.

"While I understand the intention behind the speed limit, maybe it would be more practical to apply it at certain zones, like schools or bus stops where there are many pedestrians," said Mr Ng, who works at an events company.

He added that more effort could be put into educating people instead of penalising PMD users and cyclists first.

Another avid cyclist, Mr Kiki Matthias Cheng, 46, a production manager, acknowledged that it may be hard for some cyclists to adhere to the new speed limit because they are too used to riding faster on footpaths.

"But for now, we are all sharing the paths, so we have to be considerate," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2018, with the headline 'Speed limits on footpaths for cyclists, PMD users cut to 10kmh'. Print Edition | Subscribe