Singapore tightens use of personal mobility devices

VNA
The deadline for personal mobility devices (PMD) in Singapore to comply with the UL2272 safety certification has been brought forward by six months to July 1, 2020.

All e-scooters, both new and currently registered, will have to go through a mandatory inspection from April next year. (Photo: straitstimes.com)

All e-scooters, both new and currently registered, will have to go through a mandatory inspection from April next year. (Photo: straitstimes.com)

In its latest announcement, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the decision was made following recent spate of PMD-related fires.

A total 54 PMD-related fires were reported in the first half of this year, as compared to 52 for the whole year 2018. In 2017 and 2018, there were 228 reported accidents involving PMDs on public paths.

The Singaporean authority has said the majority of PMD-related fires involved lithium-ion batteries, and occurred while the batteries were being charged or shortly after they had been fully charged.

In a bid to improve safety against fire and electrical hazards, the LTA adopted the UL2272 standard evaluating PMD at the system level, which means it covers the full spectrum of use conditions, instead of assessing only individual parts, thus significantly lowering the risk of fires.

All 15 town councils run by the People’s Action Party (PAP) have decided to ban PMDs at void decks and common areas from September 1 in a move to increase safety of public paths. 

The LTA will also be working with relevant town councils to implement a three-month trial of pedestrian-only zones (POZs) within the town centres in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Batok and Khatib, and at a neighbourhood centre in Tampines. If the trial proves to be successful, the POZs will be implemented at other town centres nationwide.

To identify reckless riders, the town councils will use the 70,000 police cameras and surveillance cameras installed at void decks and lifts. Under the amended by-laws, the town councils can fine these PMD riders, or take them to court.

All e-scooters, both new and currently registered, will have to go through a mandatory inspection from April next year. The inspections will check for UL2272 certification, width, weight and device speed limits. For new e-scooters, inspections will have to be carried out before they can be registered.

There are currently 90,000 registered e-scooters, of which only 10 percent are believed to be UL2272-certified. 

The Singaporean Government has set aside SGD50 million (US$36 million) to widen footpaths, put up warning signs and install speed-regulating strips at PMD accident hotspots.

Besides the cycling paths in the country will be expanded to 750 kilometres by 2025, and the length will be three times higher by 2030.

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