PMD Regulations in Singapore (2019)

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Non-compliant PMDs impounded by LTA. Photo from Today Online.

Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) were introduced in Singapore sometime in 2013. By 2019, PMDs have grown in popularity as an alternative mode of transport on the island.[1] These devices came under scrutiny in Parliament as traffic accident rates increased. Over the years, the Singapore government has imposed a series of regulations to curb errant riders, protect the safety of pedestrians and eliminate the fire hazard these devices pose.

List of PMD regulations (as of 2019)[edit | edit source]

Active Mobility Act (2017 - )[edit | edit source]

The Active Mobility Act was enacted in Parliament in May 2017. It first legalised the use of bicycles and PMDs on footpaths, cycling paths and shared paths.[2] Since then, the Act has seen multiple revisions. The following is a chronological list of all the major PMD regulations and their corresponding penalties.

Revisions to the Act[edit | edit source]

Year Month Regulations Penalties Refs.
2020 July All PMDs need to comply with the UL2272 certification Non-UL2272 PMDs will automatically be de-registered on 1 July 2020. [3]
April All e-scooters have to undergo a mandatory inspection every 2 years PMD users who do not send their devices for inspection by the deadline could face:
  • Up to S$1,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 3 months’ jail
[4]
2019 December To ride on cycling paths, all e-scooter users have to:
  • Pass a theory test
  • Be at least 16 years old
As of 4 December 2019, no start date has been announced for the implementation of the regulations.
[5]
Food delivery companies (and other relevant businesses) have to obtain third-party liability insurance for their e-scooter riders
All active mobility users must not use their mobile phones while riding (unless the phone is mounted or “used in a hands-free manner”)
November E-scooters* are banned from footpaths and roads

*By first quarter of 2020, other types of PMDs are expected to be banned from footpaths as well.

Offenders could face:
  • Up to S$2,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 3 months' jail
  • E-scooters could be impounded
[6]
PMD users found riding on grass verges could face:
  • Up to S$5,000 fine
[7]
PMD users found riding on drain gratings could face:
  • Up to S$40,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 3 months’ jail
[8]
September PMDs (as well as bicycles and e-bikes) are banned from void decks and all common areas of housing estates run by the 15 PAP town councils Offenders could face:
  • Up to S$5,000 fine
[9]
July It is an offence to ride or allow another person to ride an unregistered e-scooter on public paths First-time offenders could face:
  • Up to S$2,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 12 months’ jail
[10][11]
Retailers are not allowed to sell non-UL2272 certified PMDs First-time offenders could face:
  • Up to S$5,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 3 months’ jail
[12][13]
February Cyclists and PMD users cannot go beyond 10km/h on footpaths Offenders could face:
  • Up to S$1,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 3 months’ jail
  • E-scooters could be seized and forfeited
[14]
Cyclists and PMD users need to stop and look out for vehicles at road crossings and wear helmets when riding
January
  • Existing e-scooter users have to register and declare that their devices are compliant with the physical criteria
  • It is an offence to ride on public paths without an Identification Mark or the LTA Registration Mark
First-time offenders could face:
  • Up to S$1,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 3 months’ jail
[15]
Registrants must be at least 16 years old Offenders who falsely declare their identification could face:
  • Up to S$5,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 12 months’ jail
[16]
2018 January Stiffer fines for PMD users caught riding on local and major roads, including expressways First-time offenders could face:
  • S$300 fine (riding on local roads)
  • S$500 fine (riding on major roads)
[17]
For riding on expressways, first-time offenders could face:
  • S$2,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 3 months’ jail
[18]
Repeat offenders could face:
  • Up to S$5,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 6 months’ jail
[19]
May
  • Power Assisted Bicycles (PABs) are not allowed on footpaths
  • E-scooters are not allowed on public roads
  • 15km/h speed limit on footpaths
  • 25km/h speed limit on park connectors and shared paths
First-time offenders could face:
  • Up to S$1,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 3 months' jail
[20]
PMDs must meet the following physical criteria:
  • Maximum weight: 20kg
  • Maximum width: 70cm
  • Maximum speed: 25km/h
Offenders could face:
  • Up to S$3,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 1-year jail
  • Non-compliant devices could be seized and forfeited
[21]
In the case of hit-and-run accidents, users have to stop and help victims Offenders who fail to help victims could face:
  • Up to S$3,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 1-year jail
[22]
PMD users have to give their particulars to LTA enforcement officers when required Those who refuse or falsify their particulars could face:
  • Up to S$5,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 1-year jail
[23]
Vendors have to sell compliant and non-modified devices Offenders could face a fine:
  • Up to S$5,000 fine and/or
  • Up to 3 months’ jail
[24]
2017 January The Active Mobility Act was passed in parliament - [25]

Major PMD cases[edit | edit source]

The following are some of the major cases that contributed to the revisions in the Active Mobility Act.

Bedok PMD fatal accident (2019) & footpath ban[edit | edit source]

An errant PMD user spotted riding his device on a walkway shelter. Photo from The Straits Times.

In September 2019, a 20-year-old PMD rider was arrested for “causing grievous hurt” after colliding into an elderly cyclist. The collision caused the victim, Ong Bee Eng, to suffer from a serious brain injury and fractures in her ribs and collarbone. She passed away from her injuries 2 days after the accident.


Her death “is believed to be the first fatality from a collision involving a PMD on a footpath” in Singapore. As a result, the Singapore government imposed a footpath ban on e-scooters effective of 5 November 2019. E-scooters were no longer allowed on roads and footpaths. PMD users are restricted to cycling paths and park connector networks.[26]

Statistics for PMD-related accidents (Tan Tock Seng Hospital & National Trauma Registry)[edit | edit source]

On 21 October 2019, Channel News Asia released an article detailing a study conducted by Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). According to TTSH:

“... a total of 213 riders were admitted to TTSH for PMD-related incidents (between January 2017 and September 2019).”

Out of the 213 riders, 6 of them died from the injuries sustained.[27] In 2019 alone, 79 PMD riders were admitted to TTSH, which translates to a 68% increase as compared to 2017.[28]


In 2018, 299 people were treated at hospitals in Singapore for PMD-related accidents. 259 of these were riders and 8 were pedestrians. The National Trauma Registry tabulated that about 63% of the injuries in these accidents were minor, 21% were moderate and 16% were severe.[29] PMD-related accidents over the years contributed to the lowering of the speed limit and the eventual e-scooter ban on footpaths.

E-scooter fires & UL2272 safety certification[edit | edit source]

In August 2019, an e-scooter caught on fire while it was left charging in a HDB flat. Photo from Channel News Asia.

On 9 February 2018, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) reported that:

“... the number of fires involving e-scooters shot up to 40 in 2017, as compared to just 9 such incidences in 2016...”

Moreover, 81.6% of all PMD-related fires in 2017 specifically involved e-scooters.[30] These incidents prompted the Singapore government to ban non-UL2272 PMDs as studies have shown that they are fire hazards and do not meet safety standards.[31][32]


LTA announced that by July 2019, retailers are banned from selling non-UL2272 compliant PMDs. Existing users with non-UL2272 compliant devices can continue using their PMDs until the end of 2020.[33] 49 PMD-related fires were reported in the first 6 months of 2019 as compared to the 52 incidents in the whole of 2018. As a result, the deadline for PMDs to comply with the UL2272 safety certification was brought forward to July 2020.[34]

Active Mobility Advisory Panel (2015 - )[edit | edit source]

The AMAP was set up on 30 July 2015. The panel is chaired by Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and comprised of 13 other members which included grassroots leaders, representatives from the cycling community, PMD users and people with disabilities.[35] The panel proposes regulations on the use of bicycles and PMDs to the Parliament.[36]

Active Mobility Enforcement Team (2016 - )[edit | edit source]

To ensure that new rules were enforced, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) launched an enforcement team in May 2016.[37] Together with the Traffic Police, the Active Mobility Enforcement Team conducts joint-enforcement exercises at reported hotspots for reckless riding. These hotspots include shared footpaths at crowded bus stops. Additionally, the National Parks Board (NParks) conducts separate enforcement action in parks and park connectors.[38]


Since May 2018, LTA deployed auxiliary police officers from Certis CISCO to assist the enforcement team in “detecting possible errant behaviours” and “deterring offenders from turning violent and aggressive". However, they do not carry out any enforcement action.[39]

References / Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. Avanti Nim. “Scooting with the times”. The Business Times. April 17, 2015. Accessed 18 November 2019. Retrieved from businesstimes.com.sg
  2. Cheong, Danson. “Registration, plates for e-bikes to boost safety”. The Straits Times. January 11, 2017. Accessed 19 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  3. Aqil Haziq Mahmud. “PMD safety certification deadline moved forward to July 2020; all e-scooters to go through mandatory inspection”. Channel News Asia. August 5, 2019. Accessed 26 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  4. Mandatory inspection for e-scooters every 2 years from April 2020: LTA”. Channel News Asia. October 7, 2019. Accessed 26 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  5. E-scooter users will have to pass theory test, be at least 16 years old to ride on cycling paths”. Channel News Asia. December 4, 2019. Accessed 4 December 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  6. Zhaki Abdullah. “E-scooters to be banned from Singapore’s footpaths starting Nov 5”. Channel News Asia. November 4, 2019. Accessed 26 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  7. Ong, Justin. “E-scooter footpath ban: LTA issues over 100 warnings on first day, NParks reminds riders to keep off the grass”. Today. November 5, 2019. Accessed 26 November 2019. Retrieved from todayonline.com.
  8. Iau, Jean. “PMD users who ride on drain gratings make face up to S$40,000 fine and jail”. The Straits Times. November 9, 2019. Accessed 27 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  9. “Up to S$5,000 fine for those who flout PMD ban at void decks: PAP town councils”. Channel News Asia. September 2, 2019. Accessed 26 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  10. Registration of e-scooters opens Jan 2”. Channel News Asia. December 12, 2018. Accessed 25 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsaia.com.
  11. Offences for unregisted e-scooters and sale of non-UL2272 certified PMD to kick in from 1 July 2019”. Land Transport Authority. June 20, 2019. Accessed 25 November 2019.
  12. Registration of e-scooters opens Jan 2”. Channel News Asia. December 12, 2018. Accessed 25 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsaia.com.
  13. Offences for unregisted e-scooters and sale of non-UL2272 certified PMD to kick in from 1 July 2019”. Land Transport Authority. June 20, 2019. Accessed 25 November 2019.
  14. Toh Ting Wei. “Lower speed limit and other new rules for bikes and PMDs to kick in from 1 Feb”. The Straits Times. January 18, 2019. Accessed 25 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  15. Registration of e-scooters opens Jan 2”. Channel News Asia. December 12, 2018. Accessed 25 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsaia.com.
  16. Registration of e-scooters opens Jan 2”. Channel News Asia. December 12, 2018. Accessed 25 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsaia.com.
  17. Tan, Christopher. “Stiffer fines, possible jail time for offences involving personal mobility devices from Jan 15”. The Straits Times. January 2, 2018. Accessed 19 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  18. Tan, Christopher. “Stiffer fines, possible jail time for offences involving personal mobility devices from Jan 15”. The Straits Times. January 2, 2018. Accessed 19 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  19. Tan, Christopher. “Stiffer fines, possible jail time for offences involving personal mobility devices from Jan 15”. The Straits Times. January 2, 2018. Accessed 19 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  20. Toh Yong Chuan. “Reckless riders face stiff fine, jail as new law on PMDs kicks in”. The New Paper. May 2, 2018. Accessed 20 November 2019. Retrieved from tnp.sg.
  21. Toh Yong Chuan. “Reckless riders face stiff fine, jail as new law on PMDs kicks in”. The New Paper. May 2, 2018. Accessed 20 November 2019. Retrieved from tnp.sg.
  22. Toh Yong Chuan. “Reckless riders face stiff fine, jail as new law on PMDs kicks in”. The New Paper. May 2, 2018. Accessed 20 November 2019. Retrieved from tnp.sg.
  23. Toh Yong Chuan. “Reckless riders face stiff fine, jail as new law on PMDs kicks in”. The New Paper. May 2, 2018. Accessed 20 November 2019. Retrieved from tnp.sg.
  24. Toh Yong Chuan. “Reckless riders face stiff fine, jail as new law on PMDs kicks in”. The New Paper. May 2, 2018. Accessed 20 November 2019. Retrieved from tnp.sg.
  25. Cheong, Danson. “Registration, plates for e-bikes to boost safety”. The Straits Times. January 11, 2017. Accessed 19 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  26. Zhaki Abdullah. “E-scooters to be banned from Singapore’s footpaths starting Nov 5”. Channel News Asia. November 4, 2019. Accessed 26 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  27. Co, Cindy. “Head, neck injuries most common in PMD accidents: Tan Tock Seng Hospital”. Channel News Asia. October 21, 2019. Accessed 25 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  28. Co, Cindy. “Head, neck injuries most common in PMD accidents: Tan Tock Seng Hospital”. Channel News Asia. October 21, 2019. Accessed 25 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  29. Toh Ting Wei. “Nearly 300 treated at hospitals for PMD-related accidents last year; 1 in 6 had severe injuries”. The Straits Times. November 6, 2019. Accessed 27 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  30. Teo, Gwyneth. “Number of fires involving e-scooters spikes nearly 350%: SCDF”. Channel News Asia. February 9, 2018. Accessed 19 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  31. Loh, Victor. “Bill passed to boost LTA’s enforcement efforts, set new fire standard for PMDs”.Today. September 10, 2018. Accessed 20 November 2019. Retrieved from todayonline.com.
  32. Amir Yusof. “‘Effectively a ban’: Users, retailers blast new PMD fire safety rule”. Channel News Asia. September 12, 2018. Accessed 20 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  33. Loh, Victor. “Bill passed to boost LTA’s enforcement efforts, set new fire standard for PMDs”.Today. September 10, 2018. Accessed 20 November 2019. Retrieved from todayonline.com.
  34. Aqil Haziq Mahmud. “PMD safety certification deadline moved forward to July 2020; all e-scooters to go through mandatory inspection”. Channel News Asia. August 5, 2019. Accessed 26 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  35. Holly Matthews. “LTA panel to look into rules on use of footpaths, cycling paths”. Today. July 30, 2015. Accessed 18 November 2019. Retrieved from todayonline.com.
  36. Holly Matthews. “LTA panel to look into rules on use of footpaths, cycling paths”. Today. July 30, 2015. Accessed 18 November 2019. Retrieved from todayonline.com.
  37. Cheong, Danson. “LTA rolls out new enforcement team to deter speedsters on footpaths”. The Straits Times. May 11, 2016. Accessed 18 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  38. “Stiffer penalties for reckless cyclists, users of PMDs”. Channel News Asia. April 12, 2016. Accessed 18 November 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  39. Lim, Adrian. “LTA ropes in auxiliary police officers to beef up enforcement against errant cyclists, PMD riders”. The Straits Times. August 5, 2018. Accessed 20 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.