Speaking on the second reading of the Road Traffic (amendment) Bill in Parliament on Monday, Workers’ Party (WP) MP for Sengkang GRC He Ting Ru raised several concerns regarding the provisions in the bill including the accessibility of the theory test requirement for power-assisted bicycles.
Noting the certification and licensing for PAB and PAB riders, the new rules require that riders of such vehicles be certified to have passed a competency test in order to be allowed to ride their vehicles.
The MP raised a concern that the testing requirement may make it more difficult for Singaporeans who rely on these mode of transportations for their livelihood but struggle to pass paper exams.
She said, “I hope that we learn from the experiences of our fellow Singaporeans who were affected by previous certification requirements and ensure that the certification process is simple enough so that it remains accessible to all of our residents, and that they do not end up being unnecessarily tripped up by red tape.”
“The overriding objective of certification should be to raise awareness of road safety and to educate, not to treat it like an exam to score road users on a sliding scale,” she added.
Ms He proceeded to ask if there would be an option for people to be able to take the test in languages they are more conversant in, and if provisions would be made for less literate people to still take the rest.
In response, Senior Minister of State for Transportation Dr Amy Khor said that the test requirement is “not a licensing regime” but a on-time theory test to ensure that riders are familiar with active mobility rules, regulation and codes of conduct.
She noted, “The minimum riding age for PAB and e-scooters is 16 year old, and will be required to take and pass test before being able to ride.”
“Those under 16 can only ride with adult supervision and the supervisor will need to have passed the test,” she added.
She also said that the Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil versions of the handbook for PAB riders will be made available soon.
As for the test accessibility, she noted that the cost will be kept affordable to minimise impact on riders.
Dr Khor explained, “For the first three months, the test will be chargeable at S$5 for two attempts… this is a discounted rate to encourage test take up. Subsequently, the test will be chargable at S$10 for each attempt.
“The test will be conducted online in the four official languages,” she added.
Additionally, Dr Khor said that special provisions could be made on a case by case basis for riders who are not digitally savvy or are illiterate.
More details will be released by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in June.