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.
With all the new devices coming onto the market, and all the food delivery services that have been flourishing, it’s no wonder our public paths are filled with people on bicycles, e-scooters, electric wheelchairs, and even hoverboards. These devices are here to stay, so it is crucial for us all to be aware of the rules and code of conduct with regards to riding your device in public. Know where you can ride your bicycle, PMD, PAB, or PMA for the safety of yourself and others.
Here are some of the things you should take note of if you own an e-scooter or bicycle so that you won’t have a run-in with the law.
Know your device
Bicycles, PMDs, PABs, and PMAs can be used on shared paths.
Only bicycles, PMDs and PMAs are allowed on footpaths. PABs are not allowed on footpaths.
Bicycles and PABs can be used on the road and have to keep within the speed limit indicated, depending on the road you’re on. PMDs are not allowed on the road.
Make sure your device is LTA compliant
All devices can only have a maximum weight of 20kg, maximum width 70cm and maximum speed 25km/h. Before you head out with your device, make sure it meets this criteria set by the Land Transport Authority (LTA)!
Remember to register your PABs and e-scooters
If you own an e-scooter, you must first register it online before you can ride it on public paths.
After successfully registering your e-scooter, you will receive an LTA Registration Mark, which you have to place on the stem of the scooter.
Additionally, you will have to purchase an LTA Identification Mark Sticker. The registration mark comes with a registration number assigned by LTA. You will base your ID mark sticker number off of your assigned registration number and you’re not allowed to choose the number that you get.
You can purchase an LTA ID mark sticker for your registered scooter at www.OhMyBike.com.
PABs have to be registered at www.onemotoring.com.sg/PAB. The PAB must have an approval seal by the LTA and registration plate.
UL2272 certification for motorized PMDs
To minimize the risk of fires, from 1 January 2021, all PMDs used in public are required by law to be UL2272 certified. At present, non-UL2272 e-scooters and PMDs that were registered with LTA before the end of Jun 2019 can still be used in public until end-2020.
(Latest Update as of 24 July 2019: LTA has indicated that it is reviewing the end-2020 deadline for PMD safety certification due to the recent fire incidents involving non-UL2272 certified devices).
What is UL2272?
UL2272 is a U.S. safety certification given by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for devices that have met the standards of a comprehensive system of safety tests.
From 1 July 2019, retailers are no longer allowed to sell any non-UL2272 certified PMD. This means you can only purchase UL2272 certified e-scooters now.
There are several UL2272 certified and LTA compliant scooters to choose from in the market, each with varying specifications to suited your intended usage of the device. For example, the LTA approved Segway-Ninebot MAX is UL2272 certified and is great for food delivery riders who want to travel long distances because it can go up to 65km in distance per full charge of the battery.
For people who just want a convenient ride to their nearest train station or to run errands, the LTA approved and UL2272 certified Segway ES2 e-scooter might be a better bet as it is significantly lighter, making it easy to take on public transport.
Where can I ride my bicycle or PMD?
Bicycles, PMDs, PABs, and personal mobility aids are allowed on shared paths. The speed limit is 25km/h.
Only bicycles, PMDs and PMAs are allowed on footpaths, and the speed limit is 10km/h.
Bicycles and PABs are allowed on the road and have to keep within the speed limit indicated, depending on the road you’re on.
Riding on public paths
Before you head out, make sure your device meets LTA’s criteria before using it on public paths. Failure to comply with these rules can lead to a fine and/or jail term.
Remember to stop and look out for vehicles before riding across the road. If you happen to be involved in an accident, always stop and offer help to the other person involved. Exchange particulars and make a police report.
When you spot a “no riding” sign, dismount and walk your device instead so you do not run into anyone.
Best practices on Public Paths
Here are some of the best practices you can follow to ensure an enjoyable experience riding for everybody:
Before you set off, check that your lights, brakes, and tires are in good working condition. Also, check the height of your handlebars and seat on the bicycle and make sure you have full control of your bicycle in case of a sudden stop.
Always go slowly around others and give way to pedestrians. You may gently alert them before overtaking and keep left when doing so. Always keep a safe distance to avoid knocking into pedestrians and other riders.
When bicycle crossings or shared paths available, use them! However, when you’re in crowded areas, you should always walk your PMD or bike.
When riding, try to avoid projecting your device lights into another rider’s face. Keep both of your hands on the handlebars and signal your attention to change course or make a turn ahead of time.
Slow down when approaching bus stops and intersections of public paths.
Cycling on roads
The following rules are to be observed when cycling on the road,
When cycling on the road, safety is of utmost priority. Wear a helmet if you’re going to cycle on the road and obey all traffic signals. You should cycle in the same direction as the flow of traffic and in a single file when on single-lane roads and during bus operational hours.
After operational hours, a maximum of two people are allowed to cycle side by side.
When you’re cycling in the dark, you must switch on your front white light and rear red light in the dark. Rear red reflectors can be used on bicycles and PABs.
If you do not abide by these rules, you may get a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a 3-month jail term for your first offence.
Best practices on roads
Riders and cyclists should keep to the left-hand edge of roads and allow traffic to overtake you. Plan ahead and pick the safest route, avoiding heavy traffic as much as possible.
You are encouraged to keep a safe distance and not stick to the back or side of motor vehicles. Try to use bicycle lanes when they’re available.
Do not squeeze between the curb and a bus that has stopped at a bus stop or a turning vehicle.
When riding on downhill roads, make sure your speed is controlled. Dismount and push your bicycle if the hill is too steep.
It is best that you wear bright-coloured and reflective clothing when cycling so that other vehicles and pedestrians can spot you easily.
Carrying things in your arms can affect the handling of your bike so keep both hands on the handlebars and check the height of your handlebars and seat on the bicycle so that you have full control of the device in case you have to come to a sudden stop.
In a nutshell, remember to abide by the rules of different types of public paths and know the devices that are allowed. We should adhere to the rules set by LTA in order to create a harmonious environment for pedestrians, cyclists and riders.
If you wish to buy an electric scooter soon, you need to buy an LTA-compliant and UL2272-certified electric scooter because it is illegal to ride an unregistered non-UL2272 certified e-scooter in public. Remember to stay safe and happy riding!