The government of Singapore has made it imperative for owners of e-scooters to register their vehicles with Land Transport Authority. This comes after the mandatory registration of electric bicycles last year. By the end of 2017, over thirteen thousand e-bikes or electric bicycles had been registered with Land Transport Authority. Beginning with the second half of 2018, e-scooters will have to be registered for them to be legally permitted to ply on the roads across the city state. This new law excludes unicycles and electric hover boards among other mobility devices for personal use that are not known to cause reckless riding. The enforcement is aimed at preventing reckless riding and to ensure that non-compliant vehicles or devices do not roll out on the streets.
E-scooters have been deemed a potential hazard for commuters and also the riders because they have more power than unicycles and electric hover boards. E-scooters have also been associated with reckless riding. There have been enough cases reported for the government to swing into action. In fact, reckless riding was the most important reason as highlighted by Lam Pin Min, the Minister of State for Transport. Land Transport Authority will be issuing identification stickers that would be prominently displayed on all registered e-scooters. The registration and subsequent identification would make users more responsible, thereby deterring reckless riding and enforcement officers will be able to track those who err, whether first time offenders or repeat offenders.
In the last two years, the Land Transport Authority has issued over three thousand advisories pertaining to various types of personal mobility devices and their users. Most advisories have focused on unsafe riding and how it should be avoided and tried to institute safe riding habits. The focus has also been on ensuring pedestrian paths do not become chaotic and unsafe for the citizens. The registration is being seen as a tough stand by many. Activists and many in the civil society have raised their objections. However, almost the entire government is convinced that this is the only way to prevent new electric mobility devices from getting out of hand and creating unforeseen adverse circumstances. The government does not want to be caught off guard.
The issue of reckless riding is not as widespread as some may think. The mandatory registration may compel one to believe that all e-scooter riders are practically unsafe or often indulge in reckless use. This is not the case. A tiny minority has been creating some nuisance and the government wants to exercise caution and prevention than a cure. The registration process is expected to be simple and it would be reasonable. However, one would only know how things will pan out after the process begins and people start to register their e-scooters.
There are some key requirements for registration. Owners must ensure that their e-scooters are not heavier than twenty kilograms and that they are within the width of seven hundred millimeters. The electric scooters eligible for registration would have to be within the maximum speed of twenty five kilometers per hour. This is as per the provisions in the Active Mobility Act. These provisions may be subjected to review later.
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