Riding an E-Scooter? Here’s a Guide to E-Scooter Laws in Singapore
E-scooters have recently been growing in popularity in Singapore. These devices can be especially helpful for those who have reduced mobility, or who need to move between several relatively nearby locations multiple times a day, or who simply appreciate the added convenience of having another transportation option.
The use of e-scooters on public paths in Singapore is governed by the Active Mobility Act (AMA), which fully came into effect on 1 May 2018. E-scooter riders should be mindful of their rights and obligations under the AMA to avoid being fined, jailed or even having their e-scooters seized.
This article covers the following:
- Is Your E-Scooter LTA-Approved?
- On Which Paths Can You Ride Your E-Scooter?
- What is the Maximum Speed Limit You Can Travel At?
- Can You Bring Your E-Scooter onto Public Transport? Or into Shopping Centres?
- Enforcement of E-Scooter Offences Under the Active Mobility Act
Before you use your e-scooter, check that it is of a model approved by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). Your e-scooter must have a:
- Maximum width of 70 cm
- Maximum weight of 20 kg; and
- Maximum speed of 25 km/h
While businesses operating in Singapore are obliged under the AMA to only sell approved e-scooters, you should still check that your e-scooter is LTA-approved by yourself. This is especially if you bought your e-scooter secondhand.
If you use a non-LTA approved e-scooter, you can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. Penalties may be doubled for repeat offenders. Your e-scooter can also be seized and later forfeited.
These penalties also apply if your e-scooter was initially LTA-approved but later modified so as to become non-LTA approved.
Under the AMA, e-scooters can only be used on footpaths and shared paths (shared paths are also known as cycling paths). E-scooters must not be used on roads or on pedestrian-only paths.
It will usually be clear whether you are on a road: if it has cars and/or has traffic lights then you should not use your e-scooter there. Roads in SAF camps are included too. So if you happen to be an NSF or SAF regular, you cannot use your e-scooter to get around camp using in-camp roads.
However, how do you distinguish between pedestrian-only paths, shared paths and footpaths?
What is a pedestrian-only path?
Pedestrian-only paths are only for pedestrians to use (e.g. walking, jogging or running). E-scooter riders are not allowed on pedestrian-only paths.
If the public path you are on has “Dismount and Push” signs, you are likely to be on a pedestrian-only path:
What is a shared path?
Also known as cycling paths, shared paths are marked by shared path signs and are for pedestrians, e-scooter riders and cyclists to use.
This is an example of a shared path sign:
What is a footpath?
Footpaths are public paths that are not pedestrian-only paths, shared paths or roads. However, they do not come with specific signs, “cycle lanes” or floor markings. Like shared paths, footpaths can be used by pedestrians, e-scooter riders and cyclists too.
E-scooter riders who use their e-scooters on a pedestrian-only path can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. Penalties may be doubled for repeat offenders.
For those who use their e-scooters on the road, the penalties are even steeper: first-time offenders can be fined up to $2,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to 6 months.
In both cases, your e-scooter can also be seized and later forfeited.
There are exceptions to these rules preventing e-scooter riders from using pedestrian-only paths or roads, but in only 2 situations:
- If you are crossing the pedestrian-only path or road by the shortest safe route; or
- The footpath/shared path you were on is blocked (e.g. a tree fell) and you need to use the pedestrian-only path or road to avoid the obstruction
In either case, take note that you must not stay on the pedestrian-only path or road for longer than is necessary. This means you cannot take advantage of the situation and ride on a pedestrian-only path or road for any substantial distance.
You are advised to avoid speeding as the likelihood of you getting into an accident is higher. The speed limits for e-scooter riders on footpaths and shared paths are:
|Shared paths||25 km/h|
E-scooter riders caught speeding can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. Penalties may be doubled for repeat offenders. Your e-scooter can also be seized and later forfeited.
Similarly, e-scooter riders who ride dangerously can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to 6 months. What counts as “dangerous” will depend on the situation, but the LTA has released a Code of Conduct to provide guidance on how e-scooter riders can ride responsibly. As the information in the Code of Conduct is relatively brief, e-scooter users may find it helpful to refer to the LTA’s Guide to Intra-Town Cycling.
While some aspects of their advice would only apply to cyclists, other aspects like giving way to pedestrians where appropriate would apply to e-scooter riders too.
E-scooters are allowed on public buses and trains at any time of the day as long as they are kept folded at all times. They must also be pushed or carried instead of being ridden on.
Your e-scooter must be smaller than 120 cm by 70 cm by 40 cm when folded to qualify, and any protruding parts (like handles) must be retracted. There are often size checkers in MRT stations which you can check your e-scooter’s dimensions against.
E-scooters which are wet or dirty must also be wrapped up before being brought onto public transport.
If in doubt, check with the bus driver or train staff on whether your e-scooter can be brought on-board the bus or train.
Shopping centres are generally privately-owned spaces so the management of each individual shopping centre has the discretion to decide what can or cannot be brought into their premises.
While there is no uniform rule in place, it may be suggested that pushing a clean, folded e-scooter through a shopping centre as a shortcut is generally permissible. However, you should try to avoid riding your e-scooter within a shopping centre, or bring it with you for a long day of shopping in a crowded location.
E-scooter offences under the AMA are enforced by police officers, auxiliary police officers, other suitable trained public servants (such as LTA officers) as well as volunteer public path wardens. They can, for example:
- Check your e-scooter to see if it is LTA-approved
- Stop you from riding your e-scooter on public paths which you are not allowed to be on
- Stop you from riding a banned e-scooter on approved public paths (even if it is LTA-approved)
- Seize your e-scooter if they have reason to believe you have committed an offence
Before exercising their powers, authorised officials are required to show you their identity card to prove that they are authorised to do so. You are encouraged to co-operate with them.
E-scooters can be useful, viable options for last-mile transportation to and from MRT stations and bus stops, as well as a good way to carry out simple errands around your neighbourhood without having to use a car or public transport. However, e-scooter riders should know their rights and obligations under the AMA to avoid being fined, jailed or even having their e-scooters seized.
If you are in the unfortunate position of being charged with committing an offence under the AMA, you may find it helpful to consult with a criminal defence lawyer.
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