Tighter Requirements for Power-Assisted Bicycles
and Stricter Penalties for Offenders
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will tighten the technical requirements for power-assisted bicycles (PABs) and impose stricter penalties for those who sell and use non-compliant PABs. These measures will help to improve safety for PAB users and for other road users, including pedestrians.
Tighter Technical Requirements
2. Currently, PABs must meet basic technical requirements before they are approved by LTA. For example, their construction must be similar to that of a conventional bicycle and they can only be powered by an electric source, which can only cut in when the rider starts to pedal. From 1 December 2015, LTA will introduce tighter technical requirements to be aligned with European Standard EN15194 and to have a maximum device weight of 20 kg. Please refer to Annex A for more details on the revised technical requirements.
3. Special attention is being paid to PABs because they are currently allowed on public roads, and hence there are significant safety concerns. Adopting the EN15194 standard requires the PABs to undergo more rigorous tests. In addition, models which comply with the standard are harder to illegally modify. The standard is applied in 33 countries across Europe and in Australia.
4. Starting from 1 December 2015, retailers may submit applications for type approval of PAB models that meet these tighter technical requirements. Applications can be made to the LTA-authorised vehicle inspection centres and these PABs will be affixed with an orange seal for use on public roads. LTA-authorised vehicle inspection centres will continue to seal PABs that comply with the old technical requirements until 31 January 2016. From 1 February 2016, only PABs that comply with the new requirements will be approved and sealed. PABs that have been approved under the current requirements and affixed with a blue seal will still be allowed for use on public roads.
Higher Penalties and Stepped-Up Enforcement
5. LTA takes a serious view of the use and sale of non-compliant PABs. The number of offences involving the use or sale of non-compliant PABs has been increasing over the years, from only 11 notices issued in 2008 to 1,280 notices issued between January and October this year.
6. To arrest this trend, LTA will increase the penalties against users of non-compliant PABs. With immediate effect, the composition sum offered for the first offence will be raised to $300, up from the current $100. Subsequent offences will attract composition sums of $500, up from the current $200. Repeat offenders may also be charged in court and have their PABs seized. Retailers found selling non-compliant PABs, or modifying PABs illegally, will continue to be charged in court. LTA is also reviewing possible amendments to the legislation to further increase the penalties. Members of the public who spot illegally modified PABs may alert LTA via 1800-CALL-LTA or firstname.lastname@example.org
7. LTA officers will be engaging retailers to help them better understand the new technical requirements. To this end, LTA will be distributing brochures and posters to help retailers and potential buyers understand the key changes in the technical requirements and the higher penalties. More information on the revised requirements, brochures and posters can be found at the One.Motoring website from 1 December 2015 onwards.
8. Tightening the technical requirements for PABs and the penalties for errant users and sellers is part of our holistic strategy to make roads and paths safer for all users. The other key pillar of the strategy is to put in place a clear set of rules and norms for cyclists and users of PABs and Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs). In this regard, there is an on-going public consultation exercise by LTA. An online survey to seek the public’s feedback has recently been completed. To gather more in-depth views on how footpaths and cycling paths can be used safely and shared harmoniously by various users, LTA will be conducting a series of focus group discussions in the coming weeks. The new rules and norms for the safe use of paths and roads by cyclists and users of PABs and PMDs, will be announced in the first half of next year.
 LTA will be adopting the EN15194 standards, except for the optional start-up assistance mode permitted under EN15194. The start-up assistance mode allows the rider to move at a maximum speed of 6km/h without pedalling. However, depending on the design, this feature may be illegally modified to allow the PAB to travel faster than 6km/h and without pedalling, and hence pose a safety concern. As such, LTA will not type approve PABs with start-up assistance mode.