In the light of the rising number of accidents involving personal mobility device users, stricter penalties have been implemented on the errant use of such devices and new rules will also be introduced early next year to enhance the safety of pedestrians. Let’s take a look at the rules, and the dos and don’ts of using personal mobility aids and devices.
1) What are Personal Mobility Aids (PMAs) and Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs)?
Personal Mobility Aids (PMAs) refer to devices such as wheelchairs, motorised wheelchairs or mobility scooters which are designed to carry an individual who is unable to walk or has walking difficulties.
Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs), on the other hand, refer to devices such as kick-scooters, electric scooters, hover boards, unicycles, etc.
2) Where can they be used and what are their current speed limits?
Both PMAs and PMDs can be used on shared paths such as park connector networks and cycling paths, as well as footpaths. They are not to be used on roads.
The speed limit for riding on footpaths is 15km/hr while on shared paths it is 25km/hr.
In addition, PMDs cannot weigh more than 20kg and must not exceed 70cm in width.
Usage of PMAs and PMDs
Source: Land Transport Authority (LTA)
3) What are the new rules that will be implemented in early 2019?
These regulations will kick in in early 2019:
- Lowering of speed limit on footpaths from 15km/hr to 10km/hr;
- Imposition of a speed limit of 10km/hr for motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters, as there have been cases of users circumventing PMD regulations by switching to PMAs;
- Users must stop and look out for vehicles before crossing a road to provide more reaction time for both device users and motorists, improve the predictability of behaviours at crossings and reduce the risk of accidents; and
- Mandatory e-scooter registration to foster greater rider responsibility and deter reckless riding. PMAs continue to be exempted.
Rules on Usage of PMAs and PMDs
While enforcement is necessary to penalise and deter errant riders, it is also important that path users share paths in a gracious manner and practise safe riding behaviours so as to ensure the safety of all path users.
4) What are some of the codes of conduct that PMA/PMD riders should observe when riding on foot and shared paths?
- Ride in an orderly manner, with due regard for the safety of others
- Have a white light fitted in the front and red light at the back of the device, and switch them on when it is dark. If it is not possible to install lights, the user must have lights on them (e.g. fix lights onto a helmet) and have them switched on when it is dark.
- Always give way to pedestrians on footpaths or shared paths.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when approaching areas that have high pedestrian traffic, such as bus stops.
- Stop and look out for on-coming traffic at pedestrian crossings and cross only at walking speed.
- Slow down and give way to vehicles when approaching car park accesses.
- Slow down and give way to pedestrians when approaching intersections with pedestrian access.
- Keep left unless when overtaking.
- Keep a safe distance from other users especially when overtaking to avoid collisions.
- Ring the bell in advance only when necessary, such as when passing or overtaking others.
- Slow down when approaching intersections with limited sight distance around bends.
- Keep both hands on the handlebars. Signal your intention to change course or make a turn ahead of time.
- Rules and Code of Conduct, Land Transport Authority
- Active Mobility Key Regulations, Land Transport Authority
- Review of Active Mobility Regulations for Safer Path Sharing, Ministry of Transport