Transportation

LTA Rules for Bikes, Electric Bikes, E-Scooters & PMDs (2019)

LTA active mobility act bikes e-scooters pmds

Update: Effective from Nov 5 2019, e-scooters have been banned from footpaths. You can only use them on park connectors and bicycle lanes. Non-UL2272 e-scooters can be disposed at 180 locations around Singapore until 31 March 2020. 

 

Unless it’s been a while since you last left your bat cave, you’ve probably already narrowly escaped death a few times by dodging some guy’s e-scooter just in time as it whizzed down the sidewalk. So, recently, the government has stepped in and banned e-scooters on footpaths, effective 5 November 2019.

There’s also a bunch of laws regulating bikes, e-bikes, electric scooters and other personal mobility devices (PMDs).

Update: This article has been amended for clarity on 5 Oct 2018 regarding the speed limit of bicycles on shared roads and paths and on 11 November 2019 to reflect the ban of e-scooters on footpaths. 

 

Why do we need the Active Mobility Act?

The number of mishaps caused by PMDs has been rising in Singapore. Can’t be that bad, you think… But the numbers are legit shocking – 3 PMD-related accidents a week occur on public roads and paths. A friend working in one of the public hospitals complains that A&E is always filled with e-bike and e-scooter-related cases these days.

What’s more, more and more PMD users are violating road traffic laws. We’ve all seen road cyclists and e-bike riders riding precariously on the roads, I’m sure. This behaviour puts themselves and other road users in danger.

The LTA’s Active Mobility Act, which took effect in May 2018, aims to regulate public paths for walking, cycling or other purposes, including sidewalks, footpaths and cycling tracks. It sets out what you can and cannot do on these public paths.

This means you can’t get away with just a slap on the wrist for running over your neighbour’s spoilt children on your e-scooter, no matter how much you hate ’em.

 

LTA new rules for e-scooters, e-bikes, bicycles & PMDs

After the ban of e-scooters and PMDs on footpaths as announced on 5 Nov 2o19, you can only ride them on cycling paths and park connector networks.

From 1 Jan 2020, LTA will be enforcing the $2,000 fine and/or 3 months jail with “zero tolerance”. Until then, you will get a warning letter.

So, what else can you get fined for? A whole lot, as it turns out. Here’s a long list of offences and fines.

Offence Penalty (new offender) Penalty (repeat offender)
Riding power-assisted bicycle on footpaths $1,000 fine / 3 month jail term / both $2,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Riding non-motorised PMD (eg. kick scooter, hoverboard, unicycle) on roads  $2,000 fine / 3 month jail term / both $5,000 fine / 6 month jail term
Riding of PABs and e-scooters on roads and footpaths $2,000 fine / 3 month jail term / both $5,000 fine / 6 month jail term
Speeding (>10km/h on footpaths or >25km/h on shared paths and cycling paths) $1,000 fine / 3 months’ jail / both $2,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Not stopping to help accident victims when you are involved $3,000 fine / one year’s jail / both $5,000 fine / two years’ jail / both
Using non-compliant devices (>20kg weight, >70cm wide, or >25km/h speed) $5,000 fine / 3 month jail term / both $10,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Dangerous riding of bicycles, PMDs, and personal mobility aids $5,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Not following traffic signs when cycling on road (Note: PMDs are not allowed on the roads)  $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both
Not cycling in same direction as flow of traffic (Note: PMDs are not allowed on the roads)  $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both
Not switching on front white lights and rear red lights when cycling in the dark $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both
Not cycling in single file on single-lane roads and during bus lane operational hours (Note: PMDs are not allowed on the roads) $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both
Obstructing enforcement officers $5,000 fine / 1 year jail term / both
Providing false information to enforcement officers $5,000 fine / 1 year jail term / both
Impersonating enforcement officers $2,500 fine / 6 month jail term / both

 

LTA rules for bicycles (non-motorised)

With the popularity of bike-sharing services, there are more casual bike riders everywhere these days. Bike riders also include road cyclists and fatbike enthusiasts, who may be exceeding speed limits or riding non-compliant bikes.

Here are the new guidelines for cyclists to observe:

  • Maximum allowable weight of bicycle is 20kg and maximum width is 70cm
  • Allowed to ride on roads, footpaths and shared paths (eg. park connector networks, cycling paths)
  • Speed limit 15km/h now 10km/h on footpaths and 25km/h on shared paths
  • Follow all traffic signs when cycling on the road
  • Travel in the same direction as the flow of traffic
  • Switch on front white lights and rear red lights in the dark
  • Cycle in a single file on single-lane roads and during bus operational hours. Otherwise, cycling two abreast is allowed.

These are the offences and fines that directly affect (non-motorised) cyclists:

Offence Penalty (new offender) Penalty (repeat offender)
Speeding (>10km/h on footpaths or >25km/h on shared paths and cycling paths) $1,000 fine / 3 months’ jail / both $2,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Not stopping to help accident victims when you are involved  $3,000 fine / one year’s jail / both $5,000 fine / two years’ jail / both
Using non-compliant devices (>20kg weight, >70cm wide) $5,000 fine / 3 month jail term / both $10,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Dangerous riding of bicycles, PMDs, and personal mobility aids $5,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Not following traffic signs when cycling on road $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both
Not cycling in same direction as flow of traffic $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both
Not switching on front white lights and rear red lights when cycling in the dark $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both
Not cycling in single file on single-lane roads and during bus lane operational hours $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both

 

LTA rules for e-bikes (motorised bicycles)

E-bikes are officially termed power-assisted bicycles or PABs according to the LTA. Basically it just means any kind of bicycle that has an electric motor to augment leg power.

With motorised bikes, it’s very easy to commit an offence, so follow these guidelines closely.

The most important thing to note is that you cannot ride on footpaths – only on bicycle paths, shared paths (e.g. PCNs) or on roads.

  • Maximum allowable weight of power-assisted bicycle is 20kg and maximum width is 70cm
  • Maximum allowable speed of device is 25km/h
  • E-bikes must be type-approved, sealed and registered
  • Allowed to ride on roads and shared paths (eg. park connector networks, cycling paths) but not on footpaths
  • Speed limit 25km/h
  • Follow all traffic signs when cycling on the road
  • Travel in the same direction as the flow of traffic
  • Switch on front white lights and rear red lights in the dark
  • Cycle in a single file on single-lane roads and during bus operational hours. Otherwise, cycling two abreast is allowed.

Offences and fines that directly affect power-assisted bicycles / e-bike riders:

Offence Penalty (new offender) Penalty (repeat offender)
Riding power-assisted bicycle on footpaths $1,000 fine / 3 month jail term / both $2,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Speeding (>25km/h on shared paths and cycling paths) $1,000 fine / 3 months’ jail / both $2,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Not stopping to help accident victims when you are involved $3,000 fine / one year’s jail / both $5,000 fine / two years’ jail / both
Using non-compliant devices (>20kg weight, >70cm wide, or >25km/h speed) $5,000 fine / 3 month jail term / both $10,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Dangerous riding of bicycles, PMDs, and personal mobility aids $5,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Not following traffic signs when cycling on road $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both
Not cycling in same direction as flow of traffic $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both
Not switching on front white lights and rear red lights when cycling in the dark $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both
Not cycling in single file on single-lane roads and during bus lane operational hours $1000 fine / 3 months jail / both $2000 fine / 6 months jail / both

Following the ban of e-scooters, food delivery riders who are hit the hardest can trade in their e-scooters for $1,000 to buy a power-assisted bicycle or $600 for a bicycle so as to carry on their trade.

This means that those who are riding a power-assisted bicycle will need to get on the roads, or choose a bicycle to ride on the footpaths.

 

LTA new rules for electric scooters & PMDs

Kick scooters, e-scooters, hoverboards, unicycles and all those random hybrid devices all fall under the umbrella term of personal mobility devices or PMDs.

Non-motorised PMDs are simpler. Apart from making sure it is compliant, the guidelines are simpler – you are not allowed to use them on roads but you can use all other footpaths and shared paths.

For motorised PMDs, the maximum allowable weight of PMD is 20kg, maximum width is 70cm, maximum allowable speed of device 25km/h. You’re not allowed to ride on roads or footpaths, only on shared paths (eg. park connector networks, cycling paths) at a speed limit of 25km/h.

New rules as of Nov 2019: E-scooters are not allowed on footpaths and roads. They are only allowed on cycling paths and park connectors. Further, all electric scooter owners MUST register their devices with LTA by 30 Jun 2019. From 1 Jan 2021 1 Jul 2020, only electric scooters with UL2272 certification will be allowed in Singapore.

Here are the offences that directly affect PMD users:

Offence Penalty (new offender) Penalty (repeat offender)
Riding non-motorised PMDs (eg. kick scooter, hoverboard, unicycle) on roads  $2,000 fine / 3 month jail term / both $5,000 fine / 6 month ail term
Riding motorised PMD (eg. e-scooter) on roads and footpaths $2,000 fine / 3 month jail term / both $5,000 fine / 6 month ail term
Speeding (>10km/h on footpaths or >25km/h on shared paths and cycling paths) $1,000 fine / 3 months’ jail / both $2,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Not stopping to help accident victims when you are involved $3,000 fine / one year’s jail / both $5,000 fine / two years’ jail / both
Using non-compliant devices (>20kg weight, >70cm wide, or >25km/h speed) $5,000 fine / 3 month jail term / both $10,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Dangerous riding of bicycles, PMDs, and personal mobility aids $5,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both

 

LTA rules for electric wheelchairs (PMAs) 

Have you seen those uncles with electric wheelchairs that are all decked out like something out of Initial D? Those are what LTA classifies as personal mobility aids, or PMAs.

While Singapore is trying to be more inclusive towards people with disabilities, they are not immune to these guidelines:

  • Allowed to ride on footpaths and shared paths (eg. park connector networks, cycling paths) but not on roads
  • Speed limit 15km/h now 10km/h on footpaths and 25km/h on shared paths

PMAs are not allowed on roads. Apart from that, they are also expected to follow the same rules of good behaviour and compliance as everyone else. Here are the fines that apply:

Offence Penalty (new offender) Penalty (repeat offender)
Speeding (>10km/h on footpaths or >25km/h on shared paths and cycling paths) $1,000 fine / 3 months’ jail / both $2,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both
Not stopping to help accident victims when you are involved $3,000 fine / one year’s jail / both $5,000 fine / two years’ jail / both
Dangerous riding of bicycles, PMDs, and personal mobility aids $5,000 fine / 6 month jail term / both

Bicycles, motorised bicycles and e-scooters are a great way to get around, get you to the nearest MRT station a bit quicker and reduce your reliance on the crowded public transport system. But they should be used with care, otherwise you could find yourself in deep trouble.

 

Don’t try the e-scooter ban “loopholes”

Even if you’re an e-scooter rider who is hot with rage about the new ban, don’t start riding on the grass or drainage holes thinking that you’re so smart to have evaded it.

LTA is only in charge of the roads, but you can be sure there is a ministry or a stat board in charge of every other public space.

Think you can ride on the grass patches? National Park Boards will come after you for damaging the turf and causing soil erosion. You can face a fine of up to $5,000, which is actually more than the fine of riding on the footpaths.

Think you can ride on drainage gratings? Since someone has tried it, national water agency PUB has come out to stop it. Riding e-scooters on the drain gratings is considered as damaging drains and stormwater drainage system and you can face a fine of up to $40,000 or jailed up to 3 months, or both. $40,000 leh! Better don’t play play.

Wah, guess our conclusion is: Stick to the park connectors and cycling paths. Ride safe!

 

Do you use a bike, e-bike or PMD to get around? Share your tips, tricks and experiences in the comments.

 

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Traffic Fines in Singapore – Guide to LTA, URA, HDB, TP and ERP Fines

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