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Laws governing the use of e-bikes, mobility devices on pathways tabled

SINGAPORE — Riding electric bicycles on footpaths meant only for pedestrians, or zipping around on personal mobility devices (PMDs) such as skateboards and Segways in a reckless manner will become offences that could draw fines or jail time under new laws tabled by the Government on Wednesday (Nov 9).

Laws governing the use of e-bikes, mobility devices on pathways tabled

Active Mobility Enforcement Officers (AMEOs) seen checking on a personal mobility devices (PMD), along Yung Seng Road. Photo: Koh Mui Fong

SINGAPORE — Riding electric bicycles on footpaths meant only for pedestrians, or zipping around on personal mobility devices (PMDs) such as skateboards and Segways in a reckless manner will become offences that could draw fines or jail time under new laws tabled by the Government on Wednesday (Nov 9).

The Active Mobility Bill, read for the first time in Parliament, sets out the types of behaviour that could be punishable by law, definitions of pedestrian and PMDs and provides for powers to enforce the laws, among other things.

If passed, these laws could help reduce “potential conflicts between the motorised and non‑motorised uses of public paths while ensuring that public paths accommodate the largest range of possible users safely”, the Bill stated.

Under the proposed laws, a person cannot ride a bicycle, an e-bike or a PMD on a public path that is a pedestrian‑only path, and can be fined up to S$1,000 or jailed up to three months or punished with both for doing so. The penalty will be doubled for repeat offenders.

Exceptions can be made if crossing a pedestrian-only path is the “shortest safe route” and a user does not stay on the path any longer than necessary, or if there is an obstruction on the road near the path.

It will also be an offence to ride on a PMD that is not allowed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) — such as motorised devices with maximum device speeds of 25km/h — and this would be punishable with fines of up to S$5,000, or a jail term of up to three months or with both.

Those who bust speed limits while riding on PMDs, bicycles, e-bikes and motorised wheelchairs can be punished with fines of up to S$1,000, or jailed for up to three months or both. The proposed laws will leave room for the authorities to prescribe different speed limits for different types of footpaths or shared paths. And those who ride recklessly can be punished with fines of up to S$5,000 or jailed for up to six months or both.

The proposed laws come after the Government accepted recommendations from a panel on rules and norms for the use of footpaths and cycling paths and began clamping down on errant riders through a dedicated enforcement team formed in May.

More than 860 advisories have been issued to cyclists, e-bike users and PMD users over the last six months for riding dangerously on footpaths and cycling paths.

The Bill defines pedestrians as those moving around on foot, motorised and non-motorised wheelchair users, motorised scooter users and those on in-line and roller skates.

Examples of PMDs are skateboards, hoverboards, Segways and electric scooters, although the Bill also contained the acknowledgement that technology was evolving rapidly and the term would be defined broadly.

The Bill also proposed laws that would punish retailers who sell PMDs that do not comply with LTA rules, with fines of up to S$5,000 or jail terms of up to three months, or both.

In the event of an accident where a person or animal is injured or property is damaged, riders who do not report the incident and stop to offer assistance would be in breach of the law. Riders must stop their vehicle, offer help, and provide their name and contact details, or be punished with a fine of up to S$3,000 or jailed for up to a year, or both.

The Bill will be debated in Parliament when it is read for the second time.

Correction: In an earlier version of this report, we wrote that that the propose laws would punish retailers who sell PMDs that do not comply with LTA rules with fines of up to S$1,000. This is incorrect. A retailer can be fined up to S$5,000. We apologise for the error.  

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