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E-scooter footpath ban: LTA issues over 100 warnings on first day, NParks reminds riders to keep off the grass

SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) issued more than 100 warnings to errant personal mobility device (PMD) users as of 5pm on Tuesday (Nov 5) — the same day that a ban on e-scooters from footpaths took effect.

From Jan 1, 2020, a “zero-tolerance” approach will be taken, and those caught riding an e-scooter on footpaths will face regulatory action.

From Jan 1, 2020, a “zero-tolerance” approach will be taken, and those caught riding an e-scooter on footpaths will face regulatory action.

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SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) issued more than 100 warnings to errant personal mobility device (PMD) users as of 5pm on Tuesday (Nov 5), the same day that a ban on e-scooters from footpaths took effect.

These riders were caught using their devices on footpaths on the first day of an “advisory period” which lasts till the end of the year. LTA had said that a similar ban on all other PMDs, including hoverboards, will be rolled out progressively by the first quarter of 2020.

Separately, the National Parks Board (NParks) said in response to TODAY’s queries that it is an offence under the Parks and Trees Act to ride PMDs on green verges beside the footpaths without permission. Offenders can be fined up to S$5,000 if convicted.

NParks’ comments came after videos of people riding their e-scooters on grass patches beside pavements — in order to avoid flouting the new ban — made the rounds on social media.

“NParks advises users of PMDs not to ride on turf. It will damage the turf and lead to soil erosion. The uneven ground may also be a safety concern to PMD users,” an NParks spokesperson said.

On Monday, the Government announced that the use of e-scooters on all footpaths will be banned from Tuesday and riders may use them only on cycling paths and park connector networks. Such devices will continue to be banned from roads as well. 

Those who do not comply can be fined up to S$2,000, jailed up to three months, or both.

To allow users to adjust to the new rules, LTA will provide an “advisory period” where warnings will be given out, although the authority will take strict enforcement action against egregious cases.

From Jan 1, 2020, a “zero-tolerance” approach will be taken, and those caught riding an e-scooter on footpaths will face regulatory action.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, LTA reiterated on Tuesday that its enforcement officers regularly patrol public paths islandwide. It also acts on feedback by members of the public, including through the MyTransport.SG mobile application.

LTA is committed to enlarging its enforcement team to about 200 members by the end of the year.

SOME LOOKING TO SELL OR DISPOSE OF DEVICES

A day after the ban was announced, several riders told TODAY they are looking to dispose of or sell their PMDs. 

Former food-delivery rider Shawn Liow said that he now has little use for his e-scooter.

“I (operate) in the southeast zone, and there are many areas that don’t have park connector networks (PCNs),” the 25-year-old, who is now unemployed, said.

He plans to sell his e-scooter — which he bought for S$1,100 — for some spare cash. Given the expected drop in demand for PMDs, he said he would be willing to sell it at half the purchase price.

Senior human resource executive Raegen Chiam, who is also looking to sell his e-scooter, said that he was indifferent to the ban, as he had given up riding it since April due to tightening speed regulations and to avoid the ire of pedestrians.

Should he be unable to sell it, the 32-year-old plans to dispose of his device at an allocated drop-off point at the end of the month.

Until Dec 31, e-scooter owners can receive S$100 for each registered device if they dispose of their non-UL2272-certified e-scooters at designated points. The deadline was extended from Nov 30 for such devices which do not comply with fire safety standards.

Since the scheme started on Sept 23, more than 4,800 e-scooters have been discarded.

However, not all users are looking to do away with their e-scooters.

One 29-year-old IT consultant, who wants to be known only as Alex, said that rather than throwing it away for “a mere S$100”, he is looking to use it in other countries such as Malaysia.

Another rider, a 29-year-old system analyst who gave his name only as Wei Kiat, said that he will keep his PMD. He expressed unhappiness with the ban, saying that it was quite abrupt and came after users were asked to register their devices for a S$20 fee.

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PMD e-scooter ban footpath

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