Electronic Bicycles in Singapore: Know your rights and responsibilities under the law

Photo by: The Straits Times


So you want to get an Electronic Bicycles (e-bike) or do you own one yourself? There has already been quite a number of cases of people getting into trouble by failing to follow the new regulations. At I.R.B. Law LLP, we aim to promote understanding of what these new regulations are and help ordinary folks stay out of trouble.


E-bikes as Motor Vehicles that Need to be Registered

Section 2(1) of the Road Traffic Act (Cap. 276) stipulates that the overarching category of motor vehicles encompasses those which are “partly by a motor or by any means other than human or animal power”. E-bikes are therefore considered as motor vehicles, owing to their motor propulsion, and therefore need to be registered with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) as directed by Section 10(1) of the Act. Sections 3 and 4(1)(f) of the Act further stipulate that e-bikes are under the category of vehicles subject to compulsory registration.


Bicycles vs E-bikes

According to the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Rules (1990 Rev. Ed.), bicycles
• are not allowed to be towed by another vehicle on roads,
• are to be ridden on the left-hand edge of roadways,
• should never carry loads exceeding 18kg,
• should carry a white light at the front and only a red light at the rear at night,
• are not allowed to carry a red light at the front, and
• are only allowed to carry red lights at the rear.
Such rules apply to e-bikes are well, as the definition of “bicycle” includes power-assisted bicycles also.


Rules Particular to E-bikes

Additionally, the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Rules prescribe the following rules for e-bikes.
• E-bikes must be approved by the LTA and carry a seal of such approval;
• Riders must wear a helmet;
• Riders must be aged 16 and above; and
• E-bikes must conform to scheduled requirements.


The Scheduled Requirements for E-bikes

The requirements that e-bikes must conform to are stated in Section 6 of the Road Traffic (Power-Assisted Bicycles) (Amendment) Rules 2015. According to this Section,
• The maximum power output of the motor must not exceed 200 watts (W), and the maximum continuous power rating not exceeding 250W,
• The maximum speed must not exceed 25km/h,
• The motor must reduce and stop providing power when the rider stops pedalling,
• The frame number and manufacturer’s name must be permanently and legibly marked,
• “EN 14764”, “EPAC”, and “According to EN 15194” followed by the speed at which the motor stops providing power and the maximum continuous rated power must be permanently and legibly marked, and
• The weight of the e-bike itself must not exceed 20kg.
Additionally, it is important to take note that e-bikes are not allowed on footpaths.


Do Any Other Rules Apply?

As stated earlier, Section 2(1) of the Road Traffic Act defines e-bikes as motor vehicles as well, so yes, the same rules for motor vehicles, in general, DO apply for e-bikes as well!


It would, therefore, be compulsory, for example, to stop and render assistance if an e-bike rider is involved in an accident with another person who causes injury to them (Road Traffic Act, Section 84(3)).


Penalties for Offences Committed

Section 131(2) of the Road Traffic Act states that anyone who breaks any of the rules listed in the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Rules shall be fined up to $1,000.00 and/or imprisoned for up to 3 months for first offences. Repeat offenders shall be fined up to $2,000.00 and/or imprisoned for up to 6 months.


Additionally, sellers of modified e-bikes or e-bikes not in line with the scheduled requirements can be punished with imprisonment of up to three (3) months, and/or fines of up to $2,000.00 for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders may be imprisoned up to six (6) months and/or fined up to $5,000.00.


How We Can Help

Often, many of us may break these rules unknowingly and get into trouble. At I.R.B. Law LLP, we believe that everyone deserves fair representation. We firmly believe that everyone deserves a second chance.Our team of experienced lawyers are able to help you present your case before the Courts.


Should you find yourself in a situation where you may need legal assistance, please contact us at[email protected] or 6589 8913 to schedule an appointment with us today!


The information contained in this article is provided for general information only and may not reflect current status about applicable law, cases, settlements or judgements. Nothing contained on this website or article is intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be construed as I.R.B Law LLP agreeing to provide legal services to you. You acknowledge and agree that your use of this website shall not create a lawyer-client relationship with I.R.B Law LLP.