What Can E-Scooter Riders Do If They Cause an Accident?

Last updated on February 1, 2024

The number of offences involving personal mobility devices (PMDs), such as e-scooters, have fallen in recent years with the latest figures indicating a decrease by more than 65 percent from 2020 to 2022. However, accidents involving e-scooters still occur. For example, in 2022, a National University of Singapore undergraduate illegally rode an e-scooter on the road and got into an accident which seriously injured his pillion rider.

Read on to learn more about what should you do if you are involved in an accident while riding your e-scooter.

Property Damage in an Accident

If you damage any property as a result of the accident (e.g. you hit a parked car, causing some damage to the car’s exterior at the point of impact), this may expose you to claims by the property owner for compensation for the damage or loss incurred.

If you have caused damage or loss to public property, you may also be liable for damage to government property.

As the owner of the damaged property may require compensation from you, you should take photos of the property damage as evidence for the purposes of claiming insurance.

If your e-scooter has been damaged, you may also be able to make a claim or counter-claim for the damage to your e-scooter. Find out more about the availability of e-scooter insurance below.

Injuring Others in an Accident

Other individuals may also be injured in a collision with your e-scooter. You have a legal duty to stop and help in the event of an accident,  and call an ambulance if you or other individuals have been injured as a result. You must also provide your personal particulars upon request by the authorities. This information can include your name, NRIC number, contact number, residential address and insurer details.

If you fail to offer assistance or provide your personal particulars, you may be fined up to $3,000 and/or jailed up to 12 months under section 84 of the Road Traffic Act for a first-time offence.

The injured victim may also file a police report. If so, the police may then investigate and decide whether to charge you for offences such as riding recklessly or voluntarily causing hurt.

For example, in 2021, a 22-year-old man was sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail for causing the death of a 64-year-old woman after his e-scooter collided with the victim on a cycling path.

In addition, if the injured victim makes a personal injury claim against you, you may be required to pay compensation to the injured victim. If you have also been injured in the accident, you may also make a claim or counter-claim for the injuries you have sustained.

Personal Liability Insurance for E-Scooter Riders

You should consider protecting yourself from personal accident expenses and third-party injury claims by buying e-scooter insurance. Subject to their specific clauses and terms, e-scooter insurance policies may cover:

  • Personal accident protection such as accidental bodily injuries, medical expenses against injuries, permanent disability, and death
  • Personal liability against third-party bodily injuries, accidental death and loss or damage to third-party property

An insurance policy will be helpful when you need to claim insurance for yourself or for the third-party. Some insurance policies require the insured to report the incident within a certain timeframe, for example, within 24 hours. Failing to do so may affect lower the amount of insurance coverage or claim.

Check the specific wording of your e-scooter insurance policy to know more about the process required by your chosen policy.

Currently, all e-scooter riders who are riding on public paths during the course of work (e.g., food delivery riders) must be covered by an approved third-party liability insurance policy (TPLI) against third-party injury or death.

If the company that employs or engages you does not provide a group TPLI cover, or purchase TPLI on your behalf, you will be required to purchase your own TPLI product that covers commercial riding.

Consequences of Illegal Use of E-Scooters

If you were using your e-scooter illegally at the time of the accident, you may face further criminal and regulatory charges in respect of the illegal use.

An example of illegal use of e-scooters is riding them on the road. Under section 5A(3) of the Road Traffic Act, persons found guilty of riding e-scooters on the road can be fined up to $2,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. This penalty increases to up to a $5,000 fine and/or up to 6 months’ jail for repeat offenders.

LTA has also banned the riding of e-scooters on all footpaths. E-scooters can only be ridden on cycling paths. Those caught riding an e-scooter on footpaths will face regulatory action, and offenders can be fined up to $2,000 and/or face imprisonment of up to 3 months, if convicted.

Do note that your e-scooter insurance policy (if you have one in place) may not allow you to make any insurance claims if you were involved in an accident while using your e-scooter illegally.

You should therefore make sure that you abide by the applicable laws at all times when riding your e-scooter. You can read more about e-scooter laws in Singapore here.

E-scooter riders should take care to avoid getting into accidents. The Land Transport Authority has released a set of Rules and Code of Conduct on the use of e-scooters which should be followed at all times. The rules include:

  • Following the speed limits and not speeding on designated paths (i.e. cycling paths) where e-scooters are permitted for use.
  • Equipping your e-scooter with lights visible from the front and back of your e-scooter. These lights must be switched on when the surroundings are dark.