Children under 16 will still be able to ride e-scooters
Children aged under 16 will still be able to ride e-scooters despite a new requirement that kicks in on Jan 2 for people aged 16 and above to have the vehicles registered.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has clarified to The Straits Times that such young riders will be able to use an e-scooter which has been registered by an older person.
"Rather than banning the young from using e-scooters, it is more important to educate them about safe riding habits," an LTA spokesman told The Straits Times.
There are no official numbers of young e-scooter riders here, but Mr Wilson Seng, president of the PMD Retailers Association of Singapore, estimates that about one in every 10 e-scooter buyers is a teenager.
Both users and retailers that ST spoke to welcomed the age threshold for registration.
Some have called for a stricter ban on all young riders, who they deemed more reckless, but others felt e-scooters should be available to responsible riders of different age groups.
Mr Denis Koh, chairman of Big Wheel Scooters Singapore, the largest personal mobility device enthusiast group here, believes e-scooter riding can be learnt from a young age.
He said that under the new age restrictions, young riders will have to get their parents to register the vehicles.
Should such riders get into trouble on their "borrowed" e-scooters, the registered owners would have to cooperate to identify the errant rider, or be presumed to be the one who committed the offence.
"The onus would be on the parents to make sure their kids fully understand the safety aspect of riding," said Mr Koh, who sits on the Active Mobility Advisory Panel.
But scooter enthusiast Herry Affendy, 45, who works in the transport industry, called for teenagers to be banned from riding e-scooters altogether.
Referring to how a 15-year-old rider was badly injured in an accident with a bus in Choa Chu Kang on Dec 11, he said: "I don't think they are mature enough or responsible enough to think of the pros and cons of riding. They are still very playful, and they just want to have fun."