Active Mobility Advisory Panel Recommends Rules and Code of Conduct for Safe Sharing of Paths

News Releases
17 Mar 2016

The Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) submitted its recommendations for the proposed rules and code of conduct to facilitate the safe and harmonious use of footpaths, cycling paths and shared paths to the Ministry of Transport today. 

2 The Panel is chaired by Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Social and Family Development, and compromises 14 representatives from key stakeholder groups such as seniors, youths, grassroots leaders, cyclists, and personal mobility devices (PMDs) users (Please see ANNEX A for the list of members). It conducted a nation-wide public consultation exercise to gather feedback and suggestions.

3 “We engaged people from various walks of life. We spoke to pedestrians, cyclists, personal mobility device (PMD) users and motorists. It was an educational journey for all of us to learn from each other and understand each other’s perspectives. Singapore is a small island and hence it is not possible to maximise everyone’s interests and space. However, if we can build up a culture of graciousness and safety, we will be able to better take care of everyone’s needs. Many people we interacted with agreed that sharing paths with cyclists and PMD users can be done, as long as clear rules and guidelines are followed. Thus, the Panel focused on developing a set of rules and code of conduct, which we believe are practical, clear, fair, and most importantly, safeguards the safety of all users. These rules and code of conduct must be complemented by public education, effective enforcement and more cycling infrastructure. But it is not just the Government’s responsibility; every one of us has a role to play and can make things better simply by showing more consideration for others,” said A/P Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.   

4 The Panel submitted the following recommendations:

• Rules and code of conduct for users;
• Types of devices to be allowed on footpaths, cycling paths and shared paths; and
• Criteria for the types of devices to be allowed in public spaces.

The recommendations reflect three key principles: to prioritise the safety of the more vulnerable users, to ensure that rules are simple and easy to understand, and to balance the needs of different users in the best possible way.  

Rules and Code of Conduct

5 The Panel recommends the following key rules1 for users:

• Speed limits of 15km/h (running or leisurely cycling speed) on footpaths, and 25km/h (normal cycling speed) on shared paths and cycling paths
• Devices must be equipped with lights visible from the front and back, which must be switched on during hours of darkness
• Cycling maximum two abreast is allowed on all roads with at least two lanes in that direction, except those with bus lanes during the bus lane operational hours
• No cycling against the flow of traffic on roads

6 In the code of conduct2, the Panel recommends the following key practices:

• Always give way to pedestrians on footpaths and shared paths. Remember also that pedestrians have the right of way on pedestrian crossings
• Slow down and be prepared to stop when approaching high pedestrian-traffic areas such as bus-stops
• Either ‘walk your bicycle’ or dismount and push at high pedestrian-traffic areas
• Stop and look out for on-coming traffic when approaching pedestrian crossings, and cross only at walking speed
• Always stop to render assistance and exchange particulars when involved in an accident

Please refer to ANNEX B for the full set of proposed rules and code of conduct.

Types of Devices to be Allowed on Footpaths, Cycling Paths and Shared Paths

7 Feedback received from the public consultation exercise showed that most respondents are amenable to sharing cycling paths with electric bicycles and PMDs, and sharing footpaths with conventional bicycles and PMDs, as long as there are rules and guidelines to ensure safe behaviour. 

8 Electric bicycles are commonly used by the elderly and allowing LTA-approved electric bicycles on cycling paths and shared paths would give these vulnerable users a safer option than requiring them to use the roads only. However, the Panel also received strong feedback concerning the prevalence and dangers posed by illegally-modified electric bicycles.

9  Hence, the Panel recommends allowing personal mobility aids3, conventional bicycles and PMDs to be used on footpaths, cycling and shared paths (such as Park Connector Networks); and allowing electric bicycles to be used only on cycling and shared paths. Both bicycles and electric bicycles should continue to be allowed to be used on the roads. Please refer to the table below for a summary of where the various devices should be allowed to be used. In addition, the Panel recommends registering electric bicycles to facilitate enforcement against errant riders and those who illegally modify electric bicycles.

Physical Criteria for the Types of Devices to be Allowed in Public Spaces

10  To further safeguard the safety of other more vulnerable users, the Panel recommends the following physical criteria for all bicycles and PMDs: 

• Maximum device speed of 25km/h (for motorised devices only);
• Maximum width of 700mm; and
• Maximum un-laden weight of 20kg.

11 The Panel proposes not to introduce physical criteria for personal mobility aids as these devices may require specific design depending on the needs of the user. In addition, these devices have a low maximum speed of between 6km/h and 10km/h4. Please refer to ANNEX C for more details on the physical criteria for bicycles and PMDs.

12 For more details on the Panel’s report, please refer to the Recommendations on Rules and Code of Conduct for Cycling and the Use of Personal Mobility Devices

1 Rules are enforceable by law and the breach of a rule may result in penalties.
2 A code of conduct is a set of best practices that users should observe to ensure safe and harmonious sharing of paths.
3 Personal mobility aids refer to devices that are meant to provide mobility to people who are less mobile, such as motorised wheelchairs for the elderly or physically disabled.
4 The speech at which an average person brisk walks or jogs.