Panel proposes cutting speed limit for PMDs, making helmets mandatory for cyclists on roads

SINGAPORE: Users of mobility equipment such as e-scooters will soon have to slow down while driving on footpaths, while cyclists have to wear helmets on roads – if the government accepts a proposal from an advisory panel.

Under six new recommendations of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel on Friday 24 August, the speed limit for personal mobility devices (PMDs) on footpaths will be reduced from 15 km to 10 km.

This gives the rider more reaction time to prevent accidents and reduces the severity of the injuries in an accident, according to the panel.

In his report, the panel wrote that the "strong concerns" of the public have shown that 15kmh is too fast for footpaths, due to heavy pedestrian traffic on some paths and vulnerable path users such as the elderly and children.

"Some users feared that a lower speed limit could dampen the absorption of active mobility," he said. "However, given the significant increase in accidents with active mobility, we believe that this lower speed limit is currently needed to improve safety on public roads."

READ: Why being hit by an e-scooter can be fatal – and a call to ban them from footpaths

The panel also suggested making it compulsory for cyclists to wear a helmet while driving on the road. The rule does not apply to cyclists crossing the road as part of their journey on footpaths and bicycles or shared paths, or those who are temporarily on their way to avoid an obstruction.

"On roads, cyclists ride along larger and faster vehicles and are the most vulnerable users. In the event of an accident, wearing a protective helmet would reduce the impact and injuries of the rider," he said.

READ: The driver is fined in a fatal cyclist's accident, banned from driving for 3 years

It also recommended that the practice of "stopping and waiting for oncoming traffic" at crossings should be made mandatory. This would "improve the predictability of behaviors" at intersections and reduce the risk of accidents, it said.

The panel said it decided not to make compulsory civil liability insurance for PMD users mandatory, because more attention should be paid to the prevention of accidents.

"Nevertheless, the panel strongly encourages all users of active mobility devices to purchase legal liability insurance to protect themselves against claims filed by a third party in the event of an accident," he said.

The panel said that the existing options for obtaining compensation should also be made more accessible to victims of PMD accidents, while educational efforts for both pedestrians and riders on the safe sharing of public roads and roads should be stepped up.

READ: E-scooter rider fined S $ 2200 for injuring pedestrians near condominium

Panel chairman Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said Friday in a Facebook post that the regulations for PMDs are revised from time to time to ensure that they remain relevant.

The final round of recommendations came after a public consultation that received more than 6,000 responses, focus group discussions, feedback from about 100 participants in a study and & # 39; various industry assignments & # 39 ;, he said.

In a separate statement, the Ministry of Transport said it received the recommendations from the panel.

"APK will study the recommendations and give us an answer in due time", it added.

In February, the advisory panel recommended the compulsory registration of e-scooters to prevent reckless driving. The government subsequently adopted the recommendation and said that the registration regime will be implemented by the end of this year.

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