On the first day of 2020, two errant e-scooter riders were caught by enforcement officers for riding their devices on footpaths as the ban takes full effect in Singapore.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) took to its official Facebook page on 1 January (Wednesday) to state that these individuals were nabbed in Yishun and Sengkang.
“Our enforcement officers have started taking strict enforcement action against e-scooter users who are caught riding on footpaths. Earlier today, they were in areas such as Ang Mo Kio, Punggol, Sengkang, Sembawang and Yishun, and caught two offenders who were riding their e-scooters on footpaths,” LTA said.
It added that these offenders could be fined up to S$2,000, jailed up to three months, or both.
Since 5 November last year, e-scooters were banned on all footpaths across Singapore following a high volume of accidents involving such devices, several of which were fatal.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said that it was a “difficult decision” to prohibit e-scooters from being used on footpaths, but “it is a necessary step for pedestrians to feel safe again on public paths, while still allowing e-scooters to grow in tandem with cycling path infrastructure”.
LTA also said in a statement last year that despite “significant efforts” to regulate the use of such personal mobility devices (PMDs) using laws and to educate the public in using such devices responsibly, “offences relating to errant behaviour and incidents involving e-scooters remained on an upward trend”.
Although e-scooters are banned from being used on roads and footpaths in the Republic, but it will still be allowed on cycling paths and Park Connector Networks (PCNs).
Up till 31 December 2019, there was an advisory period where offenders were given warnings, in order to give time for e-scooter riders to adjust to the changes.
“From 1 January 2020, a zero-tolerance approach will be taken and those caught riding an e-scooter on footpaths will face regulatory action. Offenders are liable for fines up to S$2,000 and/or face imprisonment of up to 3 months, if convicted,” LTA warned.
However, bicycles and Personal Mobility Aids (PMAs) like motorised wheelchairs will not be subjected to the footpaths ban, and will also be allowed on all cycling paths and PCNs.
As expected, the ban didn’t go down too well with PMD riders, especially those who use the device as their livelihoods like food delivery riders. They vented their frustration online and even met MPs like Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC), Law Minister K Shanmugam and even Dr Lam.
In yesterday’s post, LTA stated that it will ramp up the construction of cycling paths and PCNs in the island to “better support active mobility”. LTA also said last year that it intends to “triple” the current distance of cycling paths from 440km by 2030, adding that all HDB towns will have a cycling path by that year.
Separately, Deliveroo has stopped assigning orders to food delivery riders who are using PMDs since yesterday.
A spokesperson told The Straits Times that existing riders who still own PMDs and have not switched vehicles or applied for LTA’s e-scooter Trade-in Grant by 31 December will not be allowed to continue working for Deliveroo until “they confirm they would like to switch vehicles”.
Upon the announcement of the ban last November, the government introduced a nationwide S$7 million programme to help food delivery riders trade-in their PMDs for alternative devices, offering a grant of up to S$1,000 per person depending on the alternative device of their choosing. The scheme received more than 3,000 applications.
This e-scooter Trade-in Grant is one part of the Transition Assistance Package (TAP), explained MOT in a press release (8 Nov).