Compulsory theoretical tests for e-scooter and electric bicycle riders will begin from the middle of this year, high-ranking parliamentary transport minister for transport, Baey Yam Keng, said yesterday.
This will ensure that all drivers of such motorized devices are aware of the applicable rules and codes of conduct, he said during the debate on his ministry’s budget.
In a further step to improve safety, Baey said that all bikes used on public paths and roads must have at least one working handbrake from September.
While he did not give a set date for the start of mandatory tests for e-scooter and e-bike riders, he said a test manual would be published next month.
The announcement comes more than a year after the idea for a mandatory test was first discussed in September 2019 by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) following a spate of mobility device accidents and the death of a cyclist after a speeding collision, non-compliant E-scooter.
The AMAP had also suggested that all bicycles must have at least one working handbrake, which the government accepted in January. The trigger was a fatal accident with a bicycle without brakes last year.
Mr Baey highlighted other efforts to improve safety on public paths, such as compulsory liability insurance for those who use active mobility aids for work, and said authorities would also step up educational efforts.
A new campaign will be launched in May to raise awareness of how paths can be shared in a safe and loving way.
There are also plans to update the Safe Riding program launched in 2018, in the second quarter of this year, to make it more interactive.
Mr. Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten) called for more work to be done to ensure the safety of pedestrians using footpaths and park links.
While banning e-scooters from sidewalks has brought some relief, the growing number of cyclists has led to regular complaints of irresponsible behavior, he said, urging authorities to step up enforcement and install more cameras.
Mr. Baey found that accidents involving motorized mobility devices (PMDs) on footpaths decreased by nearly 80 percent between 2019 and last year. Last year there were 30 such accidents compared to 144 in the previous year.
“Most importantly, we continue to work with the community to reduce accidents,” he said. “In a small city with land restrictions like Singapore, active mobility infrastructures and regulations can only go so far. We all play a crucial role as well.”
Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor said a new import control system for PMDs and e-bikes will be introduced in the first half of the year to further improve safety by preventing the import of non-compliant mobility devices.
According to the applicable regulations, PMDs driven in public must meet the fire protection standard UL2272, must not exceed a weight of 20 kg and a width of 70 cm and may only reach a maximum speed of 25 km / h.
Dr. Khor said authorities would continue to regularly check mobility devices to prevent illegal changes. She added, “Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many Singaporeans have embraced cycling and walking. We are leveraging this momentum to improve the safety and usability of the modes (walking, cycling and driving).”