SINGAPORE – People under the age of 16 will no longer to be able to buy e-scooters or other personal mobility devices (PMDs) by themselves at major retailers with immediate effect.
Owners of unregistered PMDs will not be able to get them serviced as well.
These are among the pledges made by more than 25 major PMD retailers in Singapore on Wednesday (Oct 9), in response to a spate of recent accidents, as well as fires, involving the devices.
Retailers which signed the statement include Mobot, Falcon PEV and Scooter Hub.
In a joint statement, the retailers said: “We are extremely saddened by the recent spate of unfortunate PMD accidents and incidents, and we offer our sincere apologies to all affected stakeholders of the community.
“Although errant usage is beyond our control, some businesses – registered or private – are also equally responsible for facilitating non-compliant devices and/or allowing (them) to be made easily available to irresponsible perpetrators.”
The retailers said that they had thoroughly discussed the issues and agreed on a series of measures to help improve PMD safety.
Those under the age of 16 will not be allowed to buy PMDs or get them serviced, unless they are accompanied by an adult.
The retailers also said they will not modify or enhance PMDs in a way that would affect the electrical systems of the devices.
Other measures that the retailers committed to include abiding by the law to sell only UL2272-certified PMDs locally and promoting safety awareness.
The UL2272 standard is a set of safety requirements covering the electrical drive train system of PMDs, including the battery system. E-scooter owners are required by law to have their devices UL2272-certified by July 1 next year.
The retailers added that they would continue to stand with the community against errant use of any devices such as PMDs and bicycles.
“Finally, we continue to urge all riders to ride responsibly and be considerate of others presence when sharing the space,” they said.
The pledges by the retailers will complement existing laws and potential new ones.
Under the current Active Mobility Act, only those aged at least 16 can register e-scooters with the Land Transport Authority.
Retailers have been banned from selling non-UL2272 certified e-scooters since July.
Last month, the Active Mobility Advisory Panel recommended that PMD users should be aged at least 16 and will have to pass a theory test before they are allowed on public paths.
On Wednesday, panel member Denis Koh said: “Those below sixteen are not a significant customer base (for PMD retailers), but even so, there have been cases of (errant) young riders.”
But some members of the public have questioned whether imposing restrictions on young riders would address the PMD safety issue, since older users have also been caught flouting rules.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said last month that the Transport Ministry will study the recommendations by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel and provide a response in due course.
Calls to ban PMDs have grown significantly louder in the last two weeks, after a 65-year-old cyclist, Madam Ong Bee Eng, died after suffering injuries in a collision with an e-scooter.
More than 68,000 people have now signed an online petition on Change.org, calling for the devices to be banned.