Are our E-bike riders safe on the road ?

If you have been driving on the road recently, you would have realised the increasing number of road users lately. 

This involves the over 30,000 power assisted bicycles riders who are sharing the road with motorists that are traveling at a much higher speed compared to them. 

Based on an article published on Channel News Asia, it was quoted that there were 37,320 registered Power Assisted Bicycles (PABs) registered with the Land Transport Authority as of June of 2023. 

The presence of more PABs on the streets today can be attributed to the higher demand for food delivery services.

Dangers faced by riders 

Since riders on PABs are limited to a speed limit of 25 km/hr, it is unsurprising that motorists traveling at higher speeds tend to overtake them. 

One rider interviewed by Channel News Asia shared his challenges of riding on the road with larger vehicles, stating, “There are many instances where we block buses and cars, so either they sound their horn or try to overtake us…” (Source: CNA)

As a result, these riders often find themselves in dangerous situations when they stop at traffic lights or get caught in heavy traffic.

Restrictions for riders 

On the flip side of the story, some motorists might question why they are on the road despite traveling at a much slower speed. 

In fact, we do see these riders traveling on sidewalks and pavements instead of the road sometimes.

But not many will be aware that this is actually against the rules and regulations for riders. 

A quick search on the Land Transport Authority’s website , we can see out of  the many rules they have, one stated clearly that PABs are only allowed on roads and shared paths such as park connectors. 

Additionally, the speed limit of 25 km/hr still applies either on road or shared paths. 

Source: LTA Website

Increasingly number of accidents involving e-bikes 

The concept of sharing roads and paths for the safety of all users presents its own set of challenges. 

Recently, there was a tragic incident where a 59-year-old e-biker lost his life in an accident involving a car and a Powered Assisted Bicycle (PAB).

According to statistics provided to Channel News Asia by the Singapore Police Force, there were 157 accidents involving e-bikes in 2022, including 2 fatal ones. 

This number has increased significantly from the 35 accidents recorded in 2018 (Source: CNA)

These statistics highlight the importance of addressing safety concerns and implementing measures to reduce accidents involving PABs. 

Authorities are working on it

Despite the recent reports of accidents and unpleasant encounters, the Land Transport Authority has been working diligently to implement new measures to create safer roads for all users.

Source: LTA’s Website

For instance, this includes increasing enforcement on no riding on sidewalks for the safety of pedestrians as well as the introduction of mandatory theory tests for all riders of e-scooters and powered assisted bicycles. 

Source: LTA’s Website

Road sharing “Takes two hands to clap” 

As shared in the article featured on Channel News Asia, many riders believe that when it comes to sharing the road with bigger and heavier vehicles, the safety of road users depends on all of us.

Additionally, as quoted from LTA’s website, it is advised to “consider the safety of our fellow travelers, regardless of whether we drive, walk, cycle, or ride active mobility devices.”

As road users, we can all play our part in keeping the road safe for everyone.

One way we can do this is by sharing articles like this with more road users.

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