Tighter rules for e-bicycles from Dec 1

ALVAN SIO | 20th Nov 2015 | NEWS

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced tighter regulations for power-assisted bicycles (PABs) as well as stricter penalties for those who sell and use non-compliant PABs.

The new rules, released in a statement to the media, will kick in from the 1st of Dec. Each device must weigh no more than 20kg and must be aligned with the European Standard EN15194 which requires the PABs to undergo more rigorous tests. Models which meet the standard are harder to modify illegally.

Presently, PABs must meet basic technical requirements before receiving LTA approval. Among the requirements are that their construction must be similar to that of a conventional bicycle and they can only be powered by an electric source that can only cut in when the rider starts pedalling.

Retailers may submit applications for approval of PAB models that meet the tighter technical requirements from Dec 1. Applications can be made to LTA-authorised vehicle inspection centres, and the approved PABs will be affixed with an orange seal for use on public roads.

LTA-authorised vehicle inspection centres will continue to seal PABs that comply with the old technical requirements until Jan 31, 2016. From Feb 1, 2016, only PABs that comply with the new requirements will be approved and sealed.

The number of offences involving the use or sale of non-compliant PABs has been increasing over the years, from only 11 notices issued in 2008 to 1,280 notices issued between January and October this year.

To curtail this issue, the composition fine for first-time offenders will be raised to S$300, up from the current S$100 with immediate effect. Subsequent offences will attract composition sums of S$500, up from the current S$200.

Repeat offenders may also be charged in court, LTA said. Retailers found selling non-compliant PABs, or modifying PABs illegally also face prosecution. LTA said it is reviewing possible amendments to the legislation to further increase the penalties.

Members of the public who spot illegally modified PABs can alert LTA via 1800-CALL-LTA or feedback@lta.gov.sg.