Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders

Last updated on August 3, 2020

Woman wearing a helmet and riding her e-scooter in a park

E-scooters (which are a type of personal mobility device, or PMD) 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. Riders of e-scooters and other PMDs should be mindful of their rights and obligations under Singapore’s e-scooter laws to avoid being fined, jailed or even having their e-scooters/other PMDs seized.

This article covers the following:

This article does not cover e-bicycles/e-bikes, as these are not considered PMDs and are governed by different rules under the AMA.

Is Your E-Scooter/PMD LTA-Approved?

Before you use your e-scooter/PMD, check that it is of a model approved by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). Your e-scooter/PMD 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 and other PMDs, you should still check that your e-scooter/PMD is LTA-approved by yourself. This is especially if you bought your e-scooter secondhand.

If you use a non-LTA approved e-scooter/PMD, you can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. The maximum penalties are doubled for repeat offenders. Your e-scooter/PMD can also be seized and later forfeited.

These penalties also apply if your e-scooter/PMD was initially LTA-approved but later modified so as to become non-LTA approved.

Have You Registered Your E-Scooter?

From 2 January 2019, it will be compulsory for persons aged 16 and above to register their e-scooter with the LTA. (Persons below 16 years old may still ride e-scooters, but these e-scooters will have to be registered by someone who is 16 years old or older.)

Registration must be done by 30 June 2019 and costs $20. You will have to provide your personal particulars, which will be stored in a register, and declare that your e-scooter is compliant with the restrictions set by the LTA. These restrictions include the maximum width, weight and speed requirements mentioned above.

Persons who make false declarations in their registration can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed for up to 1 year.

Upon successful registration, you will be issued with a unique registration number. This registration number is to be displayed on an identification plate on your e-scooter. You will also have to display a separate registration mark on the e-scooter.

From 1 July 2019 onwards, persons found riding unregistered e-scooters on public paths (more on public paths below) 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.

To register your e-scooter, visit the LTA’s OneMotoring website or SingPost’s post offices.

This registration requirement does not apply to other PMDs such as electric hoverboards.

Does Your E-Scooter/PMD Comply with the UL2272 Fire Safety Standard?

From 1 July 2020 onwards, all motorised PMDs (including e-scooters) intended for use on public paths must comply with the UL2272 fire safety standard.

This means that the use of motorised PMDs that are not UL2272-compliant will be illegal from 1 July 2020 onwards.

Retailers will be banned from selling PMDs which do not comply with the UL2272 standard from 1 July 2019 onwards. But to be doubly sure, you may want to still ask the retailer whether a particular PMD is UL2272-compliant before buying it.

 

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🔥 #ICYMI: 🔥 e-scooter owners now have until 1 Jul 2020 to ensure that their e-scooters comply with the UL2272 safety standard. This deadline has been brought forward by 6 months from 1 Jan 2021, in light of the recent spate of e-scooter fires in homes: at least 4 fires last month (where one of them caused the death of one man), and 49 more in the first half of 2019. That’s more than the 52 cases reported in the whole of 2018 alone! 😨 – Although @ltasg (LTA) has stopped accepting registrations of non-UL2272 compliant e-scooters since 1 Jul 2019, owners of such e-scooters can still continue to ride them until the new deadline of 1 Jul 2020. ⏰ But after that date, individuals caught riding non-UL2272 compliant e-scooters can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. Their e-scooter may also be forfeited. – According to @thestraitstimes, it seems that the majority of the 90,000 e-scooters currently registered with LTA are not UL2272 compliant. If so, this means that most of these e-scooters cannot be used after 1 Jul 2020 and might have to be thrown away. 😔 While this may cause some heart pain, it might be better to be safe than sorry: buying a new UL2272-compliant e-scooter would probably be less painful than losing your home in an e-scooter fire – or even your life 😣 #SingaporeLegalAdvice

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On Which Public Paths Can You Ride Your E-Scooter/PMD?

Under the AMA, PMDs must not be used on roads, footpaths or on pedestrian-only paths.

As of 3 April 2020, riders of all other motorised PMDs (such as hoverboards and electronic boards) have been banned on footpaths. This is in addition to the previous footpath ban on PMDs with handlebars, such as e-scooters.

In other words, e-scooters and other motorised PMDs can only be used on shared paths (shared paths are also known as cycling 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 PMD there. Roads in SAF camps are included too. So if you happen to be an NSF or SAF regular, you cannot use your PMD 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/PMD 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:

A sign that says "Dismount and Push".

What is a shared path?

Also known as cycling paths, shared paths are marked by shared path signs and are for pedestrians, e-scooter/PMD riders and cyclists to use.

This is an example of a shared path sign:

A sign that says "Shared Path. Keep Left".

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. Footpaths can be used by pedestrians, cyclists and riders of PMDs that are not e-scooters.

Penalties

E-scooter/PMD riders who use their e-scooters/PMDs on a pedestrian-only path can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. The maximum penalties are doubled for repeat offenders.

For those who use their e-scooters/PMDs on the road, or footpaths, 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/PMD can also be seized and later forfeited.

Exceptions

There are exceptions to these rules preventing e-scooter/PMD riders from using pedestrian-only paths or roads, but in only 2 situations:

  1. If you are crossing the pedestrian-only path or road by the shortest safe route; or
  2. 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.

These exceptions do not apply to e-scooter riders who want to ride their devices on footpaths.

Riding of e-scooters on the grass

To get around the ban on e-scooters on footpaths, you may be thinking of riding your e-scooter on the stretches of grass (i.e. green verges) next to footpaths.

Please take note that this is also an offence and offenders can be fined up to $5,000 under the Parks and Trees Regulations.

Riding of e-scooters on drain covers or gratings

Under the Sewerage and Drainage Act, it is an offence to damage drains and storm water drainage systems (which include drain gratings). Offenders can be fined up to $40,000 or jailed up to 3 months, or both.

In other words, if you cause damage to drain covers or gratings by riding your e-scooter over them, you may be liable for an offence.

What is the Maximum Speed Limit You Can Travel At?

You are advised to avoid speeding as the likelihood of you getting into an accident is higher. As of 1 February 2019, the speed limits for e-scooter/PMD riders on footpaths and shared paths are:

Footpaths

(Note: users can only ride their  PMDs on footpaths if their PMD doesn’t have handlebars)

10 km/h
Shared paths (Useable by e-scooter riders) 25 km/h

Penalties for speeding

E-scooter/PMD riders caught speeding can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. The maximum penalties are doubled for repeat offenders. Your e-scooter can also be seized and later forfeited.

Similarly, e-scooter/PMD 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/PMD riders can ride responsibly.

As the information in the Code of Conduct is relatively brief, e-scooter/PMD users may find it helpful to also 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/PMD riders too.

“Stop and Look Out” for Vehicles at Road Crossings

From 1 February 2019, e-scooter/PMD riders must “stop and look out” for vehicles at road crossings before continuing with their journeys.

This is to give riders and motorists more reaction time and so reduce the risk of accidents.

No Holding/Using Communication Devices When Riding on Public Paths

From 1 August 2020, all riders (of bicycles, e-scooters and PMDs) must not hold in their hand and operate any mobile communication devices while riding on a public path.

Such devices include mobile phones and wireless handheld devices (e.g. tablets) with the function of texting, calling, or accessing the internet. However, they exclude wearable communication devices (e.g. smart watch) that are being worn by the rider in the manner intended by the device manufacturer.

Offenders can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. The maximum penalties are doubled for repeat offenders.

Must E-Scooter/PMD Riders Wear Helmets?

From 1 February 2019, it is compulsory for cyclists (including e-bike riders) to wear helmets when riding on roads. This is unless they are crossing the road as part of their journey on footpaths or shared paths.

This helmet rule will not apply to riders of e-scooters and other PMDs, as these devices are not allowed to be used on roads in the first place.

In other words, it is not compulsory for e-scooter/PMD riders to wear helmets. However, riders of such devices may still consider doing so.

Can You Bring Your E-Scooter/PMD onto Public Transport? Or into Shopping Centres?

Public transport

E-scooters/PMDs 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/PMD 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/PMD’s dimensions against.

E-scooters/PMDs 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/PMD can be brought on-board the bus or train.

Shopping centres

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/PMD through a shopping centre as a shortcut is generally permissible. However, you should try to avoid riding your e-scooter/PMD within a shopping centre, or bring it with you for a long day of shopping in a crowded location.

Must You Buy E-Scooter/PMD Insurance?

It is not compulsory for e-scooter/PMD riders to buy third-party liability insurance. However, the Ministry of Transport strongly encourages riders to take up such insurance policies.

Enforcement of E-Scooter/PMD Offences Under the Active Mobility Act

E-scooter/PMD 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/PMD to see if it is LTA-approved
  • Stop you from riding your e-scooter/PMD on public paths which you are not allowed to be on
  • Stop you from riding a banned e-scooter/PMD on approved public paths (even if it is LTA-approved)
  • Seize your e-scooter/PMD 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 and other PMDs 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, riders of e-scooters and PMDs should know their rights and obligations under the AMA to avoid being fined, jailed or even having their e-scooters/PMDs 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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  1. Police Investigation Process in Singapore
  2. Arrest Warrant Issued Against You in Singapore: What to Do
  3. Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
  4. Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
  5. What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
  6. Can the Public Make a Citizen's Arrest in Singapore?
  7. What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
  8. "Right to Remain Silent" to Singapore Police: Does It Exist?
  9. Police Custody in Singapore: What You Should Know
  10. Search Warrant: The Issuance and Execution of It in Singapore
  11. Is Lying to the Police or Authorities an Offence in Singapore?
  12. Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
  13. Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
  14. Extradition: What If I Flee After Committing Crime in Singapore
Bail
  1. The Essential Guide to Bail and Personal Bonds in Singapore
Prosecution
  1. What is Private Prosecution?
  2. Magistrate’s Complaints, Private Summons and Private Prosecutions in Singapore
  3. Prosecutorial Discretion in Singapore
  4. Compounding or Composition of Offences in Singapore
  5. Plea Bargaining in Singapore: All You Need to Know
During Criminal Proceedings
  1. Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
  2. Claiming Trial as an Accused
  3. Pleading Guilty in Singapore: Consequences & Withdrawal of Plea
  4. The Defence of Unsound Mind in Singapore: What is It?
  5. Gag Orders in Singapore: Whose Identity Can be Protected?
  6. Mitigation Plea: How to Plead for Leniency in Court in Singapore
After Criminal Proceedings
  1. Guide to Filing a Criminal Appeal in Singapore
  2. Criminal Motion: What is It and How to File One in Singapore
  3. Guide to Filing a Criminal Revision in Singapore
  4. Presidential Clemency in Singapore
  5. Repatriation or Deportation from Singapore: How Does It Work?
  6. Criminal Records in Singapore
  7. Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
  8. Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore
Types of Orders After Committing an Offence
  1. Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
  2. Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
  3. How Can Adult Offenders Get Probation in Singapore?
  4. Reformative Training in Singapore: When Will It be Ordered?
  5. Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
  6. Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
  7. 7 Detention Orders in Singapore: When Will They be Ordered?
  8. Day Reporting Order: Eligibility and Offender's Obligations
Being a Victim
  1. Using Your Right to Self-Defence When Attacked in Singapore
  2. Compensation for Crime Victims in Singapore: How to Obtain
Offences Against the Human Body
  1. Voluntarily Causing Hurt Penalties in Singapore (Non-Arrestable)
  2. Murder vs Culpable Homicide in Singapore (and Penalties)
  3. Is Suicide Illegal in Singapore? Will I Be Punished for Trying?
  4. Kidnapping Scam: Penalties & Responding to a ‘Kidnap Call/Text'
Sexual Offences
  1. Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
  2. Consent in Sexual Offences in Singapore and What Victims Can Do
  3. Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore
  4. What Can Victims of Sexual Harassment in Singapore Do?
  5. What is the Law on Sexting in Singapore?
  6. Revenge Porn: What If Your Nudes are Leaked in Singapore?
  7. Crime of Voyeurism in Singapore (Penalties and Defences)
  8. Date Rape: What to Do If Your Drink Has Been Unlawfully Spiked?
  9. STDs: Can I Go to the Police If a Partner Infected Me in Singapore?
Vice-Related Offences
  1. Singapore's Legal Smoking Age & Common Smoking Offences
  2. Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
  3. Legal Drinking Age and Drinking-Related Laws in Singapore
  4. Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
  5. Child Pornography in Singapore: Offences and Penalties
  6. Is it illegal to visit prostitutes in Singapore?
  7. Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
  8. Gambling Legally (In Public or Online) in Singapore
  9. The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
Cybercrime
  1. Penalties for Cheating/Scamming and What Victims Can Do
  2. Penalties for Impersonating Someone and Victim Redress
  3. Singapore Fake News Laws: Guide to POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act)
  4. Laws and Penalties for Doxxing in Singapore (With Examples)
White-Collar Crimes
  1. Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in Singapore: What is It?
  2. All You Need to Know About Corruption in Singapore
  3. Anti-Money Laundering Laws and You
  4. 5 Things You Need to Know about Insider Trading
  5. Dishonest assistance and knowing receipt - The case of David Rasif
Road Offences
  1. Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
  2. DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
  3. What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
  4. Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
  5. Penalties for Dangerous Driving for Singapore Drivers
  6. Fatal Traffic Accidents: Are Drivers Always Punished?
  7. Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
  8. Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
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  2. Singapore Animal Abuse Offences, Penalties & How to Report
Offences Relating to Public Peace and Good Order
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  2. Misbehaving in Public: 5 Things You Need to Know
  3. Racial Enmity: Sections 298 and 298A Penal Code Explained
  4. Religious Cults in Singapore: Are they Illegal? Penalties & More
  5. Penalties for Financing Terrorist Operations in Singapore
Certificate of Clearance
  1. How Do You Apply for a Certificate of Clearance in Singapore?
Other Criminal Offences
  1. Here are the Penalties for Committing Forgery in Singapore
  2. Penalties for Illegal Immigration and Overstaying in Singapore
  3. Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore