Ban on PMD use at HDB void decks, common areas takes effect in 15 towns

SINGAPORE - Riders will no longer be able to use their personal mobility devices (PMDs), bicycles or power-assisted bicycles (PABs) at void decks of Housing Board flats and common spaces in 15 town councils.

The ban kicked in on Sunday (Sept 1) after the 15 town councils under the People's Action Party revised their common property and open spaces by-laws.

But the town councils will give users a two-month grace period - Sept 1 to Oct 31 - before the ban is strictly enforced.

The PMDs, PABs and bicycles can still be used on public paths where they are allowed under the Active Mobility Act. 

The move by the town councils comes in the wake of a spike in the number of accidents involving PMDs and public concerns about safety. The number of PMD riders who met with accidents and sustained injuries serious enough to be admitted to emergency departments in public hospitals jumped to 23 last year from 10 in 2017.

There were 228 reported accidents involving PMDs on public paths in 2017 and 2018, 196 of them resulting in injuries, the Ministry of Transport said in April this year.

In a joint statement announcing the ban on Monday, the town councils said: "We urge all PMD users, cyclists, and residents to keep a close community watch, promote a gracious and safe environment for all, and join in our efforts to keep our towns a safer living environment for all."

The two-month grace period will give PMD users enough time to adapt to the new regulation, the town councils said.

Riders who violate the ban will be issued a warning letter for their first offence during the period. After Oct 31, the town councils said they will take strict enforcement action according to the revised regulations.

Those convicted of violating the ban or riding recklessly may be fined up to $5,000.

Some 70,000 lift surveillance and closed-circuit television cameras at void decks and lifts will be used to identify reckless riders, the town councils said.

The ban does not apply to personal mobility aids such as motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters, the town councils added.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.