SINGAPORE — A minimum age requirement of 16 years old. A mandatory theory test requirement. A ban on use of mobile phones while riding.
These are some of the recommendations submitted by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) to Ministry of Transport (MOT) on Friday (27 September), as part of a review of regulations for safe path sharing among personal mobility device (PMD) users and pedestrians.
The full panel report can be found here. A summary of the recommendations is as follows:
To mandate, as a start, that businesses procure third-party liability insurance to cover e-scooter riders who are riding in the course of work.
To impose a minimum age requirement of 16 to use an e-scooter on public paths. Those below the age of 16 can continue to ride under adult supervision.
To mandate a theory test requirement for e-scooter users, prior to being able to ride on public paths.
To disallow the use of mobile phones when riding an active mobility device on public paths, unless the mobile phone is mounted or used in a hands-free manner.
To introduce a Code of Conduct to guide pedestrians on how to share paths safely with other pedestrians and active mobility device users. For example, keep to the left while walking on paths unless overtaking, and walk on footpaths whenever there are footpaths next to cycling/shared paths.
Two days after death
The recommendations come two days after the death of 65-year-old Ong Bee Eng, who was hit by a non-compliant e-scooter while cycling at Bedok North.
The e-scooter rider, a 20-year-old man, was arrested after the accident. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that the e-scooter had exceeded the prescribed weight and width limit for use on public paths.
The police are investigating the accident as a case of causing death by rash act, which carries a jail term of up to five years and/or a fine.
The AMAP is headed by Dr Faishal Ibrahim, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Social and Family Development and Ministry of Education. In a Facebook post on Friday, Dr Faishal said, “The irresponsible actions of an individual took the innocent life of a mother, sister and friend – friendly, generous and caring to all around her.”
“This tragic incident underscores the need to implement AMAP’s recommendations swiftly, and continue stepping up on education and enforcement to create a safe riding culture.”
Implementation “as soon as possible”
The panel’s recommendations are focused on improving safety on public paths, taking into consideration heightened concerns with the use of e-scooters. If accepted by MOT, the panel said that they should be implemented as soon as possible.
Separately, in a Facebook post on Friday, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said that his ministry has received the recommendations, and will study these recommendations and provide its response in due course.