E-bike cyclists must pass a knowledge test to ride on the roads under proposed changes to the Road Traffic Act

SINGAPORE: Electrically assisted cyclists will have to pass a road safety theory test before being allowed on the roads under proposed changes to the Road Traffic Act (RTA) presented to parliament on Monday April 5.

The changes are aimed at making roads safer, the Interior Ministry (MHA) said in a statement on Monday.

This test is the same theoretical test that electrically assisted cyclists will soon have to pass under the recently amended Active Mobility Act. It already has modules on road and road safety.

In March, the government announced to parliament that such testing will begin in mid-2021, while a testing manual will be released in April.

READ: Electric scooter users will need to pass a theory test, be at least 16 years old to ride on cycle lanes

The amendment to the RTA was introduced because e-bikes are also allowed on the roads, the MHA said.

That said, e-bike riders will only have to take one theory test. The Land Transport Authority will be the only digital point of contact for these tests.

“The single theory test will cover modules on the safety of paths and roads to ensure that cyclists are aware of the rules for active mobility, the code of conduct and safe driving behavior,” said MHA.

Runners must meet the same criteria before taking the test, including being at least 16 years old and paying only one test fee. The test result is valid for life except in the event of false declaration or fraud.

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The MHA will also create the offenses of riding an e-bike on the roads without passing the knowledge test and employing a person who has not passed the exam to ride an e-bike on the roads.

The latter offense covers companies which, intentionally or negligently, use the services of meal delivery staff who have not passed the knowledge test. This includes workers who are not employed by them.

The penalties for infractions will be aligned with those of the Act on Active Mobility.

First-time offenders could be jailed for up to six months and / or fined up to S $ 2,000. Repeat offenders could be jailed for up to one year and / or fined up to S $ 5,000.

READ: Tougher Measures Proposed for Illegal Racing, Road Rage and Impersonating an At-fault Driver

NEW MOTORCYCLE HELMET OFFENSE

As part of the changes, motorcyclists could face a fine and jail time for failing to ensure their passenger does not wear helmets, an essential safety feature.

The MHA will also increase penalties for importing or selling unapproved helmets to align with those for other helmet-related offenses.

READ: 71-year-old motorcyclist dies after hit and run crash with car along New Upper Changi Road

These changes come as motorcyclists and passenger passengers account for a large portion of road fatalities in recent years.

Motorcycle and passenger fatalities accounted for 40 percent of the 85 road fatalities last year. The remaining cases included deaths of pedestrians, drivers and cyclists.

The new offense of not ensuring a rider wears a helmet will result in penalties similar to the existing offense for motorcyclists or passengers not wearing a helmet.

First-time offenders could be jailed for up to three months and / or fined up to S $ 1,000. Repeat offenders could be jailed for up to six months and / or fined up to S $ 2,000.

For the offense of importing or selling unapproved helmets, the MHA proposed to increase the maximum fine to S $ 1,000 for first-time offenders and to S $ 2,000 for repeat offenders.

Under current law, first-time offenders could be jailed for up to three months and / or fined up to S $ 500. Repeat offenders could be jailed for up to six months and / or fined up to S $ 1,000.

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