A panel tasked to develop rules to govern PMD (Portable Mobility Device), PEV (Portable Electric Vehicle) and Electric Bicycle has submitted their recommendations to the Transport Ministry. The Ministry will study the recommendations and will respond “in due course”. This is the best news I heard on these mobility devices for a long time.
Here is a table (from Straits Times) on what can or cannot be on the foothpath, cycling/shared path and on the road. These includes, Kick Scooter, Electric Scooter, Hoverboard, Unicycle, Electric Unicycle, bicycle, Motorized Wheelchairs, Mobility scooters.
As a PEV owner, a cyclist, a motorist and someone who uses the footpath and PCN (Park Connector), I fully agree with these recommendations. I believe many thoughts, including the current PEV specs and etc, have been put in before submitting these recommendations.
With the new rules, it will be illegal for e-bikers to share footpath. However, it did not state if pushing it on the footpath is OK or not (I believe it is OK).
Here are my thoughts: –
As a footpath and PCN user, I think we need to open our mind to share the path. With advance in technology, we will have to embrace these new mobility devices and that they will become part of our daily life. More information are needed to let pedestrians knows about these devices. I recommend to more exhibitions/carnival like this on these mobility devices or even sight-seeing tours conducted with these mobility devices.
As a cyclist who had tried electric bikes and ride conventional bicycle on the road, I do share the concern of electric bicycle on footpath. There are so many bad sheep that spoil the image of electric bicycles. They tried to modify the speed, change the shape, ignore the traffic, causing unnecessary panic for the pedestrians and motorists.
However, there are other law-abiding ones that use LTA-approved electric bicycles. Usually, these group of people consist of elderly who might want to travel further with these e-bikes. With the restriction for them to use the footpath, I think some will not be too happy.
If you have ridden a bicycle on Singapore road, you will know that motorists on Singapore road are not familiar or are impatient with cyclists on the road. Sometimes, motorists might get too close to them or just did not take extra care when passing them. It will take some courage to ride on the road. If we force the e-bikes on the road, I think it will be a challenge for them.
Thankfully, the panel recommended e-bikes to be allowed on cycling/shared paths.
As a motorist, I feel that more can be done to educate both motorists and cyclists to co-exist on the road. If possible, build more cycling paths for them (I believe our government are already doing that). Without educating both sides, there will be no ending to accusations from both sides when accidents or incidents happen. It will take time and patience to co-exist on the road with current condition.
However, I must also highlight that there are cyclists that are inconsiderate. They speed through PCN, zip in and out of traffic, and hog the lane on the road causing inconveniences to motorists.
As a PEV user for the past few months, I notice something. People are not familiar with them. I get stares (some are admiration from children because they want one) on the footpath not because I am speeding or a nuisance. It seems that they are worried that I cannot control it properly as it balances itself.
After trying the Ninebot Mini Pro for a few months, I can safely say that the brake system, the light system, the acceleration, the control on the Ninebot Mini Pro are actually very predictable and intuitive. In the past few months, I have taught more than 10 persons to use it and most (if not all) learn it on first try (although they need more practice).
Most people did not realize that most of these products have fail-safe features. For example, the power will cut if a person dismount or acceleration will stop once nobody is on it (before you buy any of these, check the specs first as I cannot confirm for all the PEVs out there).
And most of these devices have speed limit built-in. You are not able to go beyond the stated speed (which is normally less than 25km/hr).
I believe it is the right direction to state the rules clearly. Hopefully, we can get a good response from our Transport Ministry fast and a date that they will implement the new rules. I will gladly follow them.
Finally, I can close the chapter on my ranting a few years ago.
The above are my opinion and you may not agree with it. Let me know your thoughts. It could be interesting to discuss 🙂 .\