After a discussion in Parliament, the deadline for all PMDs to meet safety standards has been brought forward to July 2020.
It was originally December 2020, but a recent rise in PMD-related fires, including one casualty, has heightened urgency to tackle the matter.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min announced the deadline change, and said it will still “give retailers time to bring in sufficient stock of UL2272-certified devices”.
Starting 1 April 2020, PMDs will also have to undergo mandatory inspections.
Existing riders will be called up to get their PMDs checked, while people who register new e-scooters from April will have to put them up for inspection before receiving certification.
At the moment, about 90,000 e-scooters are registered in Singapore, but the majority of them don’t comply with standards.
PMDs that are non-compliant by July 2020 will be automatically deregistered.
Since July 2019, it has become official that all personal mobility devices (PMDs) must be registered to be used legally in Singapore.
All PMDs sold from now on must also be UL2272 certified to comply with safety standards.
First-time offenders caught riding an unregistered PMD can be fined up to $2,000 and jailed for up to 3 months.
More than 85,000 e-scooters were registered in time for the deadline.
But this doesn’t mean the full count of them are up to the UL2272 standard yet.
To give some leeway for PMD users to adjust to the freshly implemented regulations, LTA has allowed non-UL2272 certified e-scooters purchased before 1 July 2019 to still be registered temporarily.
Riders who registered these non-UL2272 compliant e-scooters can use them until December 2020, after which they will automatically be deregistered.
Deadline May Be Shortened With Urgency For Safety
However, a recent string of HDB fires linked to PMDs has raised concerns about allowing non-compliant devices to remain in use.
The problem with non-UL2272 certified PMDs is that they aren’t up to par with the necessary electrical safety standards, and can easily become fire hazards.
One incident of a PMD-related fire in a Bukit Batok flat this month resulted in a 41-year-old man’s death, and another case in Ang Mo Kio, just days later, saw 60 residents evacuating from the building.
The Land Transport Authority is now considering to shorten the deadline for all PMDs in Singapore to be UL2272 certified.
An LTA spokesperson said the current December 2020 timeline was set with “public feedback including from users and retailers” in mind.
But LTA has also strongly advised users to make the switch earlier if possible “for their own safety as well as those around them”.
“Conformity with UL2272 requires a PMD to pass a stringent set of tests which significantly improves safety against fire and electrical hazards,” the spokesperson said.
Aside from potentially shortening the deadline for all PMDs to meet safety requirements, in the meantime LTA reminds users not to overcharge their e-scooter batteries or attempt to modify the device and its electrical components.
Featured Image Credit: All Singapore Stuff and Land Transport Authority