Rules for bikes, PMDs gets public support

RECOMMENDATIONS to boost the use of bicycles and personal mobility devices (PMDs) here, including allowing them on footpaths, have been greeted with positive public feedback, said the head of the expert panel behind the ideas.

The Active Mobility Advisory Panel is also "heartened" that their recommendations were fully accepted by the Government two weeks ago, said its chairman Faishal Ibrahim, who is also parliamentary secretary for Education as well as Social and Family Development.

"Many people have shared with me that they find that the rules and code of conduct we proposed are practical, fair and, most importantly, account for the safety of all the different road users... they feel that it is clearer now as there is something that they can follow and abide to," he added.

He was speaking at the launch of the Safe Riders Campaign, the first public education drive since the new rules were accepted. It aims to get pedestrians, cyclists and PMD users to share walkways in a considerate and safe manner.

The panel had also prescribed speed limits on foot and cycling paths, and registration for power-assisted bicycles to clamp down on illegal modifications.

The rules are expected to be implemented by year end.

While there is a need for "strong enforcement" to deter errant riders, it is more important to develop a safe riding culture, said Dr Faishal at the launch of the campaign at the National Gallery.

Separately, the first PMD carnival was also held yesterday at Tanah Merah ferry terminal. Visitors were allowed to try out different brands and models of mobility devices at the 12,000 sq m site.

Chairman of interest group Big Wheel Scooters Singapore Denis Koh said he expects more PMD users in the coming years. "But that doesn't mean there may be more accidents on the paths because I believe LTA is working out details on how to get retail shops to electronically and permanently cap the speed on such devices."

Speed limits on footpaths are 15kmh and 25kmh on cycling and shared paths.

Last year, 17 cyclists or their pillion riders were killed in accidents, up from 15 each in 2014 and 2013. There were also 590 cyclists injured in accidents last year, a 17 per cent jump from 503 in 2014.

Francis Chu, co-founder of Love Cycling SG, said some footpaths are too small and congested. "The paths should be broadened in high density areas," he added.

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