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Govt accepts recommendations of Active Mobility Advisory Panel; restricts speed limit for PMDs to 10km/h on footpaths

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has announced that it has accepted all of the following recommendation submitted by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel for a safer path and will implement them in early-2019.

There are four recommendations to be applied.

Speed limit on footpaths

The first is the speed limit on footpaths for personal mobility device users and cyclists.

MOT noted that the current 15km/h speed limit on footpaths will be brought down to a maximum of 10km/h so that both personal mobility device (PMD) users, cyclists and pedestrians have enough time to react to each other in unforeseen circumstances.

"This aims to reduce the incidence of accidents and the severity of injuries. All riders must continue to give way to pedestrians and slow down when approaching crowded areas or blind spots. Riders should also exercise caution when overtaking other path users," it said.

Speed limit on motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters

The speed limit is said to prevent retailers and able-bodied users from abusing such devices to circumvent stricter regulations on PMDs, and will also safeguard the use of such devices for those with genuine mobility challenges.

"As the Panel had noted, most PMAs today already comply with the 10km/h device speed criterion, and thus this should not be too onerous on genuine PMA users," MOT added.

Mandatory helmets while on road

MOT also stressed that it will be mandatory for all active mobility device users to wear helmets when riding on roads. However, this will not apply to device users who are crossing the road as part of their journey on footpaths and cycling/shared paths.

"Although the use of helmets is not compulsory on paths, those cycling and riding PMDs on paths are also strongly advised to put on helmets," MOT said.

Stop and look at road crossings

Active mobility device users must “stop and look” out for vehicles at road crossings, before resuming their journeys.

"This will provide active mobility device users and motorists with more reaction time, thereby reducing the risk of accidents. Likewise, motorists should also play their part by slowing down at crossings and looking out for cyclists, PMD users and pedestrians," the ministry said.

The ministry noted that given the diversity in device users and so as not to significantly reduce the uptake of active mobility, the Panel does not recommend mandating third party liability insurance and instead suggests to place greater focus on upstream prevention of accidents.

"We will take on board the Panel’s recommendation to strongly encourage the take-up of third party liability insurance, in particular by food delivery companies for their employees. We will also raise awareness of and accessibility to existing avenues of seeking compensation, such as by working with the Singapore Mediation Centre on making mediation more readily accessible," the ministry said.

As announced during the Committee of Supply debate in March 2018, MOT said that it will implement a registration regime for e-scooters from January 2019.

"We believe that this will deter reckless riding, accord more responsibility to the users, and facilitate enforcement against errant users," it added.

In accepting these recommendations, the Ministry stated that it agreed with the Panel that the safety of all active mobility riders and public path users is paramount.

"We will continue to monitor the situation to assess if further refinements to the regulations are needed. Moreover, as recommended by the Panel, we will continue to strengthen our public education efforts on the safe sharing of paths and roads. We hope that all these measures will help to create a safe riding culture in Singapore,"