Bill to regulate personal mobility devices passed in Parliament

Source : Shutterstock.

The Active Mobility Bill was read for the second time in Parliament yesterday (10 January) with 13 MPs debating on the matter.

As announced at the Ministry of Transport (MOT)’s 2016 Committee of Supply Debate, the Government has accepted in full the Active Mobility Advisory Panel’s recommendations on cycling and the use of personal mobility devices (PMDs).  The Active Mobility Bill puts these recommendations into effect.

It said that the Bill empowers the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to regulate the types of devices permitted, and the behaviour of device users, on public paths.

Key regulations proposed in the Bill and subsidiary legislations:mot-key-regulation1Key regulations for on-road cycling in the Road Traffic Act and subsidiary legislations :mot-key-regulation-off-roadCode of Conduct for on-road cycling under the Highway Code :mot-code-of-conduct-on-roadRules on where devices will be allowed :mot-rules-on-where-devices-will-be-allowedPhysical criteria for devices allowed on public paths :mot-phsycal-criteria

The Bill introduces penalties for reckless riding behaviour. For instance, those found to be riding recklessly can be fined up to $5,000, or imprisoned for up to six months, or both.

Cyclists and users of PMDs and PABs who fail to provide their personal particulars or render assistance in the event of an accident can be fined up to $3,000 or imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both. In addition to these new penalties, cyclists and users who cause injury to others may also be charged under the Penal Code, and can be fined up to $5,000, or imprisoned for up to a year, or both.

LTA may also require offenders to attend the Safe Cycling Programme, in addition to paying a composition sum for compoundable offences.

Proposed penalty framework for reckless riding behaviour

Offences for cyclists, PMD users and PAB riders:mot-offences

The Bill also prescribes penalties to deter the illegal modification of devices and the sale of non-compliant devices.

It wrote that those found modifying bicycles, PMDs or PABs to render them non-compliant, and sellers of non-compliant bicycles, PMDs or PABs for use on public paths can be fined up to $5,000 or imprisoned for up to three months, or both, for the first offence.

Proposed penalty framework for illegal modification and sale of non-compliant devices

Offences for sellers of bicycles, PMDs and PABs: mot-offences-for-sellers

MOT stated that LTA and other partner agencies, such as NParks, will be given powers to enforce against individuals who cycle or use PMDs recklessly on public paths and retailers who sell non-compliant devices. These include the powers to inspect businesses suspected of illegally modifying devices, seize and forfeit non-compliant devices, and demand identification information from suspected offenders and arrest those who refuse to cooperate.

To complement enforcement efforts, the Ministry also said that the Bill also enhances efforts to educate the public and to inculcate a culture of safety. The Bill empowers LTA to appoint volunteers under the Active Mobility Patrol Scheme as public path wardens.

However, it noted that the volunteers will not have powers to seize or arrest, but will have limited enforcement powers such as to obtain personal particulars of individuals suspected of committing an offence. They will carry out regular patrols to educate the public on safe practices on public paths and deter reckless behaviour.

MOT stressed that these measures aim to create a safe environment for all users of public paths. LTA would also like to urge all cyclists and PMD users to ride safely and observe the new rules and code of conduct.

This entry was posted in Current Affairs, Parliament, Transport.