Lifestyle

S'pore Gov't To Ban All Motorised Mobility Devices On Footpaths From April 2020

In November, the Singapore government officially banned e-scooters and e-bikes on footpaths.

Since the ban was rolled out, accidents on footpaths that involve mobility vehicles have fallen by 52 per cent. 

Today, the ban has been extended to include other motorised mobility devices such as electric skateboards, hoverboards and unicycles, which will come into effect from April onwards.

Following the ban, these devices will be allowed only on bicycle paths and park connectors.

Offenders who ride motorised vehicles on footpaths could be fined S$2,000, jailed for three months, or both, for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders could face a S$5,000 fine, six months jail time, or both.

The Singapore government previously announced that e-scooter riders must be at least 16 years old and pass a theory test first before they are allowed to ride in public.

The age limit will kick in later this year, while the theory test for e-scooter and e-bike riders will be compulsory from the first half of 2021.

Beyond the theory test, the government is open to introducing other form of tests, such as practical riding tests, in the future if necessary.

From the second half of this year, users of mobility vehicles will also not be permitted to hold and use mobile devices, including phones and tablets, unless these are mounted, or used in a hands-free manner or when the vehicle is stationary.

More Regulations To Be Rolled Out

On the business side of things, firms that offer food delivery and courier services, must ensure their riders who use mobility vehicles for work have third-party liability insurance.

This insurance allows victims to file claims for damages, and comes into effect from the second half of this year.

Retailers will also face harsher punishment for offences such as displaying or advertising non-compliant mobility vehicles.

Previously, first-time offenders could be fined S$1,000, jailed for three months, or both. The maximum fine will climb to S$10,000 and the jail term raised to 12 months.

Corporate bodies convicted of the offences could be fined S$20,000 if it is their first offence, or S$40,000 for subsequent offences.

On the other hand, operators of shared devices will assume expanded responsibility for the safe operation of their devices and the safety of riders under the Shared Mobility Enterprises (Control and Licensing) Bill.

The Bill sets out a new legislative framework that enlarges the scope of the present licensing regime for operators of shared bicycles and mobility devices.

This Act will replace the device-sharing licensing regime under the Parking Places Act, which focused on tackling indiscriminate parking, particularly by users of shared bicycles. 

There will be two licence types under the proposed Act: “Regular” and “class” licences.

Regular licences will apply to firms that operate shared dockless motorised and non-motorised devices used on public paths such as bicycle-sharing operators.

Operators must apply for the licences, which take effect from the second half of this year.

They will be subject to requirements governing areas such as safety. These include banning users who had committed serious offences on shared devices, such as reckless riding. Operators must also ensure that their users have third-party liability insurance.

Class licences are for operators of docked motorised devices and businesses that hire out vehicles to employees as an employment benefit or for official duties.

Authorities will employ a “lighter-touch approach” for such operators because they use docking equipment and cause fewer parking problems.

They will be subject to fewer requirements, including installing speedometers. Operators must also ensure that users are covered by third-party liability insurance.

Licencees need not apply for the licences, but must register with the LTA soon after they start operations.  

For starters, operators of shared mobility aids and docked devices that are not motorised will be excluded from this regime, LTA said.

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