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Parliament Highlights – 4 November 2019

04 Nov 2019 3 min read

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E-scooters to be banned from footpaths from Nov 5

Electric scooters will be banned from footpaths in Singapore from November 5, with offenders facing fines of up to S$2,000 and/or jail time of up to three months.

From now until the end of the year, the authorities will issue warnings to errant riders, but it will take a zero-tolerance approach from next year.
E-scooters will be allowed only on cycling paths and park connector networks, though the use of such devices remains banned on roads. 

However, the ban will not apply to bicycles or personal mobility aids such as motorised wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

Announcing the tougher stance on motorised personal mobility devices (PMDs) in Parliament on 4 November 2019, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said that great efforts have been put in place to promote the safe use of PMDs since the Active Mobility Bill was passed in February 2017.

These include the introduction of compliance standards, the reduction of speeds on footpaths and increased enforcement. 

Despite this, the authorities continue to encounter errant riders – with about 370 offenders caught each month – and the number of accidents also continues to rise, he noted.

In the past year, Members of Parliament (MPs) and members of the public have repeatedly raised concerns about the reckless and irresponsible behaviour of some e-scooter riders. Some have asked for e-scooters to be banned from footpaths.

Dr Lam said that it was a “difficult decision” to ban the use of e-scooters from footpaths but “it is a necessary step for pedestrians to feel safe again on public paths, while still allowing e-scooters to grow in tandem with cycling path infrastructure.”

Devices classified as PMDs include e-scooters, hoverboards and unicycles. By the first quarter of next year, other types of PMDs, such as hoverboards and electric unicycles, are expected to be banned from footpaths.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will reject existing licence applications for PMD-sharing services, and no new applications for such licences will be accepted because of safety concerns. 

Regarding fire safety, the authorities are extending the early disposal incentive scheme – where S$100 is given for the disposal of non-UL2272 compliant registered e-scooters – to the end of the year. 

The UL2272 standard refers to a set of safety requirements which cover the electrical drive train system of PMDs, including the battery system. 

The authorities are also stepping up the construction of dedicated cycling paths – where e-scooters can be used – in areas such as Woodlands, Toa Payoh and Choa Chu Kang, with 750km expected to be built by 2025. 

98 per cent of CPF money distributed

Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said in Parliament that 98 per cent of money in the Central Provident Fund accounts of people who died have been distributed by the CPF Board or the Public Trustee’s Office.

Majority of CPF members had nominated beneficiaries, and the funds were distributed according to the nomination, within a month of CPF Board being notified of the member’s death. For members who did not indicate any nominations, their unused CPF funds may still be distributed to the next of kin.

Elaborating on the search process of the next-of-kin of a CPF member, Mrs Teo said, “The Public Trustee’s Office will contact individuals who are known to possibly have an interest in the deceased member’s un-nominated CPF monies and also invite them to make an application to claim these un-nominated funds.”

She also added that the CPF Board will be looking to launch an electronic nomination system for CPF members in the first quarter of 2020.

(Main Image credit: Dr Janil Puthucheary’s Facebook )