E-scooters also known as Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) are quite common among people in Singapore.
It brings about great convenience, especially for those who have mobility impairments or those who are travelling short distances around the neighbourhood.
These days, aside from seeing PMDs used by those who seek the factors mentioned above, they are also used for leisure as well as for jobs such as parcel and food delivery riders.
However, to use such a device, the user has to obey a set of rules that were created to ensure the safety of not only the rider but also others in the environment.
Law enforcement has been very strict and has been clamping down on those who have been breaking those rules.
This is evident when one views the video posted by SG Road Vigilante, where a traffic police can be seen chasing a PMD rider on a civilian road in Singapore.
Traffic Police Gives Chase
In an incident that happened at around 7 pm on Tuesday (22 Nov), a traffic police can be seen to be chasing an errant PMD rider along the stretch of Mandai Road and Mandai Avenue (towards Sembawang Road).
The video shows the rider, who is visibly not seen to be wearing any sort of protective gear, speeding past several cars along the road.
After a few seconds into the video, a traffic police can be seen speeding up and threading through the traffic with caution to reach the back of the PMD rider.
Upon reaching to the side of the PMD rider, the traffic police activated his siren, in hopes of getting the attention of the errant rider.
The efforts of the traffic police in trying to get the PMD rider’s attention can be seen to have been put to good use as from the video, the PMD rider immediately swerved from the last lane to the first lane to avoid the traffic police.
PMD Rider Slips Away
Swerving did little to nothing to help the PMD rider break away from the traffic police’s pursuit as the traffic police can be seen back on his tail shortly after the PMD rider swerved to the right.
If one were to watch closely enough, the traffic police in the video can be seen to be shouting at the errant rider, probably with intentions of persuading him to pullover for his own safety as well as others’.
In response to the traffic police’s action, the PMD rider attempted to give the traffic police a little nudge by moving suddenly to the left, almost colliding with the traffic police.
However, to the traffic police’s surprise, these actions were all a set-up for his great escape.
Shortly after giving the nudge, the PMD rider pulled off something that nobody would have expected. No, he did not travel to another Multiverse like Doctor Strange.
What he did was simply turn right and into a pedestrian crossing’s waiting area.
Since PMD was supposedly only supposed to be used on pedestrian walkways, the PMD rider could go on to the waiting area.
However, as the traffic police was on a motorcycle, he could not follow suit.
This surprising action left the traffic police confused as he could only look at the errant rider in disbelief and carried on riding forward.
Rules for Using PMD in Singapore
For those who are unaware of the rules of riding PMDs in Singapore, no worries, we will talk about some of the more important rules here.
Firstly, before one can even start using his or her PMD, they have to ensure that it is LTA-approved.
For it to be LTA-approved, it can only be 70cm maximum in width, 20kg maximum in weight and 25km/ h maximum in speed.
People with the intent of buying a PMD are advised to do checks of their own to ensure that the PMD is LTA-approved.
Secondly, after purchasing a PMD, people aged 16 and above are expected to register their PMD with the LTA.
Registration for a PMD will cost a person $20 and can only be done at LTA’s E-scooter Inspection Centres.
Upon a successful registration, a registration mark stating your registration number will be given to you, which needs to be displayed on your PMD at all times.
Other than the mark, a UL2272 fire safety certification mark has to be placed on the device to show that it is within fire safety regulations.
If one were to be caught by authorities for possessing and using a non-LTA-approved e-scooter/PMD, they can be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed up to 6 months in addition to having their PMDs confiscated.
People who are repeat offenders will face double the punishment.
Thirdly, PMD users have to pass a theory test before they can legally ride on the roads. Think of it like the Basic Theory Test but for PMDs
The test cost $10.70 and gives a person two attempts for each payment.
Upon passing the test, riders will be given a digital certificate indicating their pass, which is valid for life.
For those who wish to study for the test, you can do so here.
People who are caught riding without a certificate can be fined up to $2,000 and/or jailed up to 6 months.
Generally, E-scooters can only be used on “Shared” paths otherwise known as “Cycling” paths.
These paths are marked by a shared or cycling path sign and are for pedestrians, PMD riders and cyclists to use. PMD riders cannot ride on the road.
However, a PMD rider can use a normal pedestrian footpath or the road in two unique scenarios.
- If they need to cross the pedestrian-only path.
- The footpath/shared path they were on was blocked on unsafe to use.
If one were to encounter such a scenario, they can be on footpaths or roads, but they need to ensure that they do not take advantage of it and go back on to a “shared” path as soon as they can.
Instances of Accidents
If you are wondering why the authorities have been so harsh lately on errant riders, it is because many unfortunate incidents have occurred, with some incidents even resulting in the lost of lives.
In an accident earlier this year in May, a 54-year-old delivery rider who was on his PMD at that time became unconscious after colliding with a motorcycle at Upper Serangoon Road.
He was taken to the nearest hospital but succumbed to his injuries shortly after.
In a separate incident, a 20-year-old man was recently arrested for colliding with a 40-year-old woman in Boon Lay while he was riding on his PMD.
The woman sustained multiple injuries and was shortly conveyed to the hospital for treatment after the incident.
The 20-year-old’s PMD was illegally modified, weighing around 30kg.
If you think that PMDs are only involved in road accidents, you are wrong.
This is because there have been many cases where PMDs caught fire and even exploded.
In one of the few cases, a man who was in a lift at the time of the incident died after his PMD caught fire.
Despite escaping from the lift, he later passed on from his injuries. Investigations noted that the fire was caused by the PMD’s battery.
Another incident that happened in 2019 was when an illegally modified PMD caught fire while being charged at the corridor of an HDB flat.
These incidents caused two people to be injured and the exterior of the housing unit to be severely damaged.
So, now you know why having to go for that LTA-approved inspection is so important right?
Rate of PMD Related Accidents Was on a Rise
According to a report, the amount of PMD-related cases that the general hospitals in Singapore increased significantly from 2014 to 2017.
The report stated that from 2014 to 2017, there was a 30% increase in cases whereby a PMD rider was involved.
However, after the introduction of many new rules such as Active Mobility Act, accident rates have been decreasing over the years.
Featured Image: YouTube (@SG Road Vigilante)