From 1 February 2019, new rules to encourage safer path and road-sharing behaviours will kick in. These new rules are:
a) Lower speed limit for riders on footpaths;
b) Mandatory use of helmets by cyclists on roads;
c) "Stop and look" at road crossings; and
d) Maximum device speed for personal mobility aids (PMAs)
2. These rules were announced in September 2018 when the Government accepted the recommendations proposed by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP), and are part of ongoing efforts to foster greater rider responsibility and encourage safe sharing of our paths and roads. Please refer to Annex A for the illustration of the new rules.
Lower Speed Limit on Footpaths
3. The speed limit for riding on footpaths will be lowered from 15km/h to 10km/h. This will allow all path users more time to react to unforeseen circumstances, thus reducing the risk of accidents and severity of injuries should they happen. Those caught speeding can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to three months upon conviction for the first offence.
4. As a best practice, all riders must give way to pedestrians and slow down when approaching crowded areas or blind spots. Riders should also exercise care at all times when overtaking other path users.
Mandatory Use of Helmets by Cyclists on Roads
5. Under the new rules, it will be mandatory for all cyclists to wear helmets when riding on roads. This is for their own safety as cyclists are more vulnerable compared to other vehicles on roads. Those caught riding bicycles and power-assisted bicycles on roads without wearing a helmet can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to three months upon conviction for the first offence.
6. The mandatory helmet rule, however, will not apply to cyclists who are crossing the road to get from one public path to another. While the use of helmets is not compulsory on public paths, such cyclists and personal mobility devices (PMDs) riders are still strongly advised to put on helmets for their own safety.
"Stop and Look" at Road Crossings
7. All active mobility device users must "stop and look" out for vehicles at road crossings, including zebra crossings and signalised pedestrian crossings. Similarly, motorists are required to slow down and look out for, and allow pedestrians and active mobility device users to cross the road at these crossings. Overall, this will improve the predictability of behaviour of all users, providing both device users and motorists with more reaction time, thereby reducing the risk of accidents.
8. Active mobility device users caught crossing a road without stopping and looking out for vehicles, as well as motorists caught for failing to slow down when approaching a road crossing, can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to three months upon conviction for the first offence.
Maximum Device Speed for Personal Mobility Aids (PMAs)
9. Motorised PMAs such as motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters designed for the elderly or those with mobility challenges, for use on public paths, will be required to have a maximum device speed of 10km/h. This is to safeguard the use of such devices by only those who genuinely need them, and prevent the abuse and modification of such devices to circumvent regulations on PMDs. Today, the majority of PMAs already comply with this maximum 10km/h device speed criterion. Anyone convicted of using a non-compliant PMA on public paths can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to three months for the first offence.
10. Under the Active Mobility Act, retailers are required to display warning notices on their premises from 1 February, stating the technical criteria for PMAs and where they are allowed to be used. It is an offence for a retailer to sell non-compliant devices or modify any device to a non-compliant state. Convicted first time offenders can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to three months. It is also an offence for a retailer to display or advertise non-compliant PMAs. Retailers caught doing so can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to three months for the first offence.
11. On top of these regulations, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has also undertaken public education efforts to encourage safe riding practices. Interested members of public can learn more about and participate in the Safe Riding Programme at (http://bit.ly/ltasrp). Educational materials on the new rules and safe riding practices are also available for download on the LTA website at (http://bit.ly/amrules). Safety remains a top priority as LTA continues to encourage the use of active mobility.
Annex A: Illustration of the new rules