Government official: E-bike insurance needed

Transportation agency to clamp down on irresponsible drivers of e-bikes and e-scooters

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

After several accidents involving electric scooters and other similar personal mobility devices (PMDs), Singapore authorities have begun cracking down on irresponsible use of the devices. A government official also suggested that owners of these vehicles should buy third-party insurance.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has confiscated 20 electric scooters since May as these vehicles were being used on the city-state’s roads. According to the agency, those who ride PMDs and other “non-compliant vehicles” can face a fine of SGD2,000 and up to three months’ jail time for the first offense. Subsequent offenses could merit SGD5,000 and a six-month sentence.
From January to September, the LTA ticketed 1,433 offenders over the use of non-compliant e-bikes. Under current regulations, e-bikes cannot weigh over 20kg and must have a maximum speed of 25kph. They are also not allowed to have a throttle, which allows movement even without pedaling. Similar regulations are expected to be introduced for e-scooters and other PMDs.
Recent accidents have caused PMDs to come under increased scrutiny. Last month, two men died after being hit by a trailer while they were riding their e-bikes, while in September, a 53-year-old woman was hit by an e-scooter and required brain surgery due to her injuries.
Sitoh Yih Pin, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, hailed the move by the LTA.
“[It’s] a move in the right direction,” he told the Straits Times. He also called for PMD users to purchase third-party insurance.
Meanwhile, the LTA issued a warning on its website, saying: “LTA will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any rider found to be riding recklessly or in a manner that causes harm to pedestrians and other road users.”

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