LTA slams 'irresponsible' vendors offering to modify e-scooters into PMAs

FILE PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore

SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority has warned vendors not to modify e-scooters into personal mobility aids (PMAs) such as wheelchairs, modified wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

In a post put up on its Facebook page on Wednesday (13 November), LTA said that it has seen online advertisements from vendors claiming to be able to perform such modifications.

“These are irresponsible vendors, as such modifications will compromise the original device’s electrical and mechanical systems as well as structural integrity, void its safety certifications, and importantly, pose safety risks to both the user and the public,” it said in the post.

Different safety standards for PMAs

PMAs are intended for individuals who have difficulty standing, cycling or walking for prolonged periods of time.

Typically used by the elderly or those with mobility challenges, these devices usually have three or more wheels for stability, with a footboard supported by the wheels, as well as a seat for the user who is unable to stand.

Most PMAs comply to international standards such as ISO7176 and EN12184 for safety and performance, and their maximum speed is capped at 10 kmh. The international safety and performance standard is different from e-scooters, which comply to the UL2272 standard.

However, PMAs’ regulations are less stringent than that for e-scooters. For instance, they do not need to be registered with LTA, and they have neither maximum weight nor width restrictions.

Enforcement action will be taken

LTA added that it will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those who “wilfully disregard” stipulated criteria and those who conduct such irresponsible modifications.

Wednesday’s statement comes after last week’s ban on e-scooters using public footpaths. The advertised modifications are seen as vendors offering e-scooter owners a cheap and quick solution, rather than replacing the e-scooters with other forms of personal transport.

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