All PMDs to be banned on footpaths by March; 27 e-scooter riders caught since Jan 1

A total of 27 errant riders have been nabbed so far after an e-scooter ban kicked in last Wednesday.
Facebook/Land Transport Authority
  • 27 e-scooter riders have been nabbed so far after strict enforcement on the ban on footpaths kicked in on Jan 1.

  • The number of accidents involving e-scooters has dropped by 30% since the ban started in Nov.

  • The ban will cover all other motorised PMDs, including hoverboards and unicycles, by March this year.

  • The Government will spend over S$1 billion to speed up completion of the cycling network to 1,300km before 2030.

  • It is also painting “No PMD” signs on footpaths to distinguish them from cycling paths.

A total of 27 errant e-scooter riders have been nabbed so far after a strict enforcement on an e-scooter ban on footpaths kicked in last Wednesday, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said on Monday (Jan 6).

The number of accidents involving e-scooters has also dropped by about 30 per cent since the ban started on Nov 5 last year, said Dr Lam in Parliament, adding that further reduction can be expected as enforcement is stepped up.

In addition, about 6,000 advisories had been issued to remind riders of the new regulations as of Dec 31.

The Land Transport Authority now has 182 officers on its team to enforce active mobility rules, up from about 100 officers in August, Dr Lam said in a reply to Nominated MP Dennis Tan.

More officers will be recruited to beef the team up to 200 people.

Read also: LTA is warning irresponsible PMD users with hashtags like #WeAreWatchingYou in its latest Facebook video

The footpath ban started on Nov 5 and up until last Tuesday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) had been issuing warnings to errant e-scooter users. But from last Wednesday onward, the authority strictly enforced the ban.

Earlier on Sunday, LTA said on Facebook that 24 errant e-scooter riders had been nabbed in four days since strict enforcement of the ban started in the new year.

#WeMeanBusiness Our #AMEOs carried out plain clothes ops on Fri night to Sat morning at various areas in Bukit Panjang…

Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Sunday, 5 January 2020

The authority said its officers in plain clothes carried out operations from last Friday night to Saturday morning in various areas in Bukit Panjang and Jurong to enforce the new active mobility rules.

In particular, the officers looked out for e-scooter riders who refused to heed repeated reminders and continued riding on footpaths.

Offenders may be fined up to $2,000, jailed for up to three months, or both.

“Several devices were impounded during the latest enforcement blitz, as they exceeded the stipulated weight limit of 20kg,” the authority said.

Some power-assisted bicycle riders were also caught for using their devices, also called electric bicycles, on footpaths, the LTA added. E-bikes are allowed only on roads and cycling paths.

Read also: Some retailers are offering to modify PMDs into mobility aids, but the LTA is saying ‘no, no, no’

The authority’s officers also ensured compliance with other active mobility rules such as device criteria and usage rules.

These stricter regulations came after a series of personal mobility device-related accidents here, in which pedestrians were injured and a 65-year-old cyclist killed.

Under the new rules, users of e-scooters are banned from riding on the 5,500km of footpaths in Singapore.

This means that the use of e-scooters, which are already banned on roads, are confined to 440km of cycling paths.

Bicycles and personal mobility aids such as motorised wheelchairs will continue to be allowed on footpaths, cycling paths and park connectors.

But the footpath ban will progressively be extended to other motorised PMDs in the first quarter of this year, including hoverboards and unicycles.

Parliament: S$1b needed to speed up, complete building of cycling path network

More than S$1 billion will be needed to speed up and complete plans to triple the cycling network in Singapore, amid a recent ban on the use of e-scooters on footpaths to improve pedestrians’ safety.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday (Jan 6), Lam said his ministry is now in talks with the Finance Ministry to get the extra funding to expand the cycling network to about 1,300km. He did not provide further details.

Dr Lam also cited a recent telephone poll commissioned by government feedback unit Reach, in which two out of three respondents agreed that safety on footpaths has improved since the ban.

He was replying to three MPs on issues relating to the use of personal mobility devices.

The Government announced last August that it aimed to triple the cycling path network from the current 440km to 1,300km by 2030, but last month, Dr Lam said it aimed to hasten plans by “a couple of years”.

Read also: Finally – you’ll be able to walk or cycle to Changi Airport by 2026

On Monday, he said: “We will accelerate the pace of implementation by a few years. We are discussing with Housing Board, NParks and the local town councils on a practical timeline.”

More details on the funding will be announced during the debate on the new budget for the Transport Ministry.

Work is also ongoing to improve markings on footpaths and distinguish them from cycling paths, with logos indicating “No PMD” to be painted at selected intersections of footpaths and cycling paths.

The decision to quicken the pace of building the cycling network is prompted by concerns of e-scooter users about connectivity in Singapore. Currently, they can use only 440km of cycling paths. Before the ban, they had access to 5,500km of footpaths as well.

The LTA had said that as of Dec 31, there were more than 75,000 registered e-scooters in Singapore, a 25 per cent drop from the month before.

The drop coincides with a scheme that offered $100 to e-scooter owners who disposed of their machines without a safety certificate by the end of last year. The LTA had said it received about 30,000 applications for the grant.

 

Read also: Over 75,000 e-scooters registered in Singapore so far: LTA