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    Oct 06, 2016

    E-bikers make up bulk of unsafe riders: LTA

    SIXTY per cent of the 700 cyclists and personal mobility device (PMD) users caught by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for unsafe riding since May were e-bikers who were caught zooming down the footpaths.

    The remaining 40 per cent were caught for offences including not having a light while riding at night, reckless riding and speeding.

    In May, LTA launched its Active Mobility Enforcement team to police the foot- and cycling paths, and has conducted over 400 enforcement operations across the island, the authority said in a statement yesterday.

    Right now, they are issuing only advisories to errant riders and handing out brochures on safe riding.

    This is because the legislative changes that will give them powers to issue fines are not yet law - they will likely be debated in Parliament before the end of the year.

    The changes will allow use of bicycles and PMDs on footpaths, to encourage the use of these devices for short trips.

    E-bikes, however, will be allowed only on cycling paths, park connectors and the road.

    Yesterday, a team of eight LTA officers conducted a two-hour morning enforcement exercise in Taman Jurong, together with the Traffic Police.

    The area is well plied by residents who cycle or use other PMDs to get to work in the Jurong Port vicinity.

    The officers were keeping an eye out for reckless riders, and those using PMDs that did not meet weight criteria or speed limits, said Willy Soo, deputy manager at the Active Mobility Enforcement section.

    The upcoming rules will set a speed limit of 15kmh on footpaths, and require all PMDs to be under 20kg.

    Besides giving out about 360 brochures, the officers also checked electric bicycles in case they were illegally modified. Those whose bikes looked to be illegally modified will need further inspections.

    Five advisories were also handed out for offences that included failing to give way to pedestrians.

    Forklift driver Michael Lee, 53, was on his way to work on his e-bike when he was stopped by officers.

    It was not modified so Mr Lee was allowed to continue on after being a given a safe riding brochure.

    "I just want to go to work, I don't need to go fast," he said.

    But he added that speedsters on e-bikes were common in the area, with many modifying their rides to look like motorcycles.