What Can E-Scooter Riders Do If They Get Into an Accident?
It is not rare to see personal mobility devices such as e-scooters in Singapore. The usage of personal mobility devices has become increasingly popular in recent years.
Unfortunately, accidents involving personal mobility devices are not uncommon. The first half of 2017 saw approximately 90 accidents involving personal mobility devices and e-bicycles. What should you do if you are involved in an accident while riding your e-scooter?
Property Damage in an Accident
If you damaged property, 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.
Also, 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 an accident. For example, call the ambulance at 995 if the victim sustained serious injury. You must also provide your personal particulars upon request. 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 choose to report the accident to the police. If so, the police may then investigate and decide whether to charge you for offences such as riding recklessly or voluntarily causing hurt.
In January 2018 for example, a 34-year-old man was arrested for causing hurt by a rash act when he knocked down a Taiwanese tourist at Chinatown MRT station while riding his e-scooter.
Therefore, you should try to remember the series of events that occurred to aid the investigation.
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.
Claiming of E-Scooter Insurance
Although not compulsory, it is now possible for e-scooter riders to purchase 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 as required by your policy.
Consequences of Illegal Use of E-Scooters
Where you have used your e-scooter illegally, you may face further criminal 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.
Furthermore, your e-scooter insurance policy may not allow you to make any insurance claims during this period of illegal use.
You should therefore make sure that you abide by the law at all times when riding your e-scooter. You can read more about e-scooter laws in Singapore here.
Ultimately, e-scooter riders should be careful at all times 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. The current speed limits are 15 km/h on footpaths and 25 km/h on cycling/shared paths.
- 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.
Some recommended best practices also include:
- Giving way to pedestrians on footpaths and cycling/shared paths. Pedestrians also always have the right of way on pedestrian crossings.
- Dismounting and pushing your e-scooter at high pedestrian-traffic areas instead of riding it.
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