With constant reports of errant personal mobility device (PMD) users knocking down pedestrians on pavements and being reckless nuisances on the roads, it’s no surprise that a majority of Singaporeans want the already low current speed limits of 15kmh to go even lower, according to a report by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel.
The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has since accepted the panel’s recommendations — starting next year, riders of PMDs and bicycles will only be allowed to hit a maximum of 10kmh on footpaths. The aim is to reduce accidents by letting pedestrians, cyclists and PMD users have enough time to react to each other. If a collision does occur, the lower speed will hopefully reduce the severity of injuries.
For those riding on the roads — bicycles both electric and analog — helmets will be absolutely mandatory, though it doesn’t apply to riders simply crossing the road to get to cycling or shared paths.
The same speed limits will also apply to users of motorized wheelchairs and mobility scooters (the ones typically used by the elderly and the handicapped), which is apparently done to prevent retailers and able-bodied users from abusing such devices.
“The Ministry notes that given the diversity in device users and so as not to significantly reduce the uptake of active mobility, the Panel does not recommend mandating third-party liability insurance and instead suggests to place greater focus on upstream prevention of accidents,” MOT noted in a press release.
“In accepting these recommendations, the Ministry agrees with the Panel that the safety of all active mobility riders and public path users is paramount. We will continue to monitor the situation to assess if further refinements to the regulations are needed.”
The speed limits will arrive early next year, probably after the registration regime for e-scooters kicks in from January 2019.