Escooter riding: Tricks and tips for a safe night-time ride
UPDATE [6 Aug 2019]: The PMD safety certification deadline has been moved forward to July 2020. All non-UL2272 certified devices will be auto-deregistered and cannot be used in public after July 2020. Users can continue to ride only UL2272 certified PMDs beyond the July 2020 deadline.
What's attractive about night time e-scooter riding
Some do it because it is the nature of their work, thrill-seekers and adventurers are out for the experience. Some seek the serenity and calmness the night time offers. Others do it to bond with friends - as a rite of passage of teenagehood.
For riders who have only scooted under broad daylight, you may discover that night time escooter riding is a different beast altogether.
All we ask of you is: don't be too quick to judge. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. Keep an open mind and read on to learn why you should try scooting at night and how to be safe when doing so.
E-scooter safety tips and tricks - night edition
Don't ride on the road!
No matter if you're doing it on a dare or because you think it is necessary (i.e. if you're a Deliveroo or Foodpanda rider rushing to meet your delivery time limit), your e scooter is strictly banned from the road.
It doesn't matter if it's a local road, a major road or an expressway. You can't ride your e-scooter on any of them.
Go for the Safe Riding Programme
For those unfamiliar with it, the Safe Riding Programme is a 90 minute crash course. It is for PMD riders to learn the rules and codes of conduct for safe escooter riding in Singapore.
It is jointly developed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) and taught by LTA-approved trainers.
The course combines theory lessons with practical circuit training. You'll be guaranteed to leave with a much clearer understanding of the do's and don'ts of escooter riding.
Add lights to your e scooter
According to LTA's rules, riders have to ensure that their e-scooter comes with a rear red light and a front white light. These lights not only illuminate the path for you to have better visibility, it also alerts other commuters and vehicles to your presence in the pitch black night.
It is always a good idea to wear a helmet. This is because it gives you added padded protection for your head. In case of an accident (touch wood), your helmet will shield you from much of the impact of the collision.
A helmet may make the difference between life and death.
Use your bell
In a dark environment, your sense of sight is greatly reduced. This is the time to really rely on your other senses to safely guide you through. For example, using your ears to pay attention to what's going on around you).
You should go a step further and communicate with fellow e scooter riders and pedestrians by ringing your bell. They may not be able to see you, but they will hear you.
Reasons why escooter riding at night is a good idea
1) You can see the city in all its nighttime glory
Most people rent or buy an e-scooter for the purpose of touring a city in the day (including tourists). However, there's a whole other world at night. With all the sights, sounds and shows during the night, you won't be missing much when you explore the city on your e scooter in the dark.
In fact, for the best nighttime e-scooter experience, try scooting on days where there are festive/celebratory events e.g. on your country's independence day or on new year's eve.
2) Because it is way cooler (literally)
If you live in a tropical climate, you know that heat (and the sun) is sometimes the bane to all our existence. Usually, temperatures can reach up to sky-high levels all year round, and you are left to sweat buckets.
This may make any daytime outdoor activity (including e scooter riding) unappealing to some. However, you can get relief and respite from the constant heat when you choose to ride at night.
Try it, you might just love it (you also have a higher chance of feeling the wind against you when you scoot at night).
3) For a much smoother commute
No more jostling with the daytime, rush-hour crowd! In the night, you can be pretty much guaranteed a seamless commute as you ride along the footpaths and park connectors on your e-scooter.
If you always want to go at a moderately fast pace, now's your chance.