Wheelies news since 2013

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Don't take our wheelies away from us!

With the proliferation of usage of personal electric vehicles (PEV) in Singapore, it’s a common sight to see people in office wear on their PEVs going to the office, buying groceries or a family just having a fun outing together at the beach. In short, PEVs has captured the attention of the nation and they are here to stay.

 Below are some of the common classifications of PEVs in Singapore

Speed (km/h)
Weight (kg)
Range (km)
E Bicycle
E Scooters
E Unicycles
Robo step

* Specifications are extracted based on popular models

While PEVs have been present in Singapore for many years, the laws with regards to their usage is unclear with the exception of electric bikes.(http://www.onemotoring.com.sg/publish/onemotoring/en/lta_information_guidelines/buy_a_new_vehicle/motorised_bicycles.html).

However, The New Paper (TNP) dropped a clanger with their article on 22 September, Monday. (http://mypaper.sg/top-stories/watch-where-you-go-e-scooter-users-20140923). What used to be a grey area has become crystal clear with its headline. To summarize, "e-scooters are not allowed or not advised to be used on public roads, pavements and park connectors and riders caught using unauthorised vehicles on public roads are liable, on conviction, to a fine of up to $2,000 or a jail term of up to three months for the first offence.". We note that the article also highlighted “When a personal electric vehicle causes hurt to pedestrians, the user could be jailed for up to one year, fined up to $5,000 or both, the spokesman added.” Wheelies has unfortunately been categorized as a motorised transport.

We were making frantic calls to people we know with regards to laws of PEVs after the TNP article. While not much light or clarifications have been shed with regards to the usage, our understanding based on the available information is as follow.
  • Law clearly states that unauthorized vehicles are not allowed on public roads. Unauthorized means anything above 200 watts, 25km/h. It is unclear if the definition of “ unauthorized” includes PEVs but we would reckon it’s a resounding YES 
  • Updated Npark signboards indicated that there would be a fine for usage of PEVs in their parks. It is clearly a no go zone for all PEVs with the exception of electric wheelchairs 
  • There is no laws to indicate that PEVs are banned other than the tabloid eye catching headline last Monday. (if otherwise, please point to exact link on (http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/
  • According to LTA site, they regulate the use of electric bicycles. No information is available with regards to other PEVs
  • Certain town councils have started issuing fines for reckless cycling on the pavements. We do see PEVs coming under the scrutiny of these officers too. 
Our conclusion: while using PEVs is not illegal, you will be fine if you whizz around recklessly in places where PEVs are banned. While the majority of us observe the rules and basic courtesy of riding with a few black sheep otherwise, to call for a ban is unwarranted and to a large extent unfair. While it’s good that the profile of PEVs has been propelled to the spotlight and there are more awareness with regards to the usage, we should be looking at the positives instead of the negatives.

  • Wheeling promotes social bonding, linking people from all walks of life

  • Wheeling promotes family togetherness and encourage outdoor activities

  • Green transport means less CO2 emissions 
No petrol needed
  • A low cost alternative mode of transport as opposed to cars 
  • Resolving the current strain on public transport and roads 
  • Resolving issues of the parking crunch
While we don’t represent all the PEVs, in order to make wheeling a safer mode of transport for ourselves and others around us, we at the Wheelies advocate the etiquette of safe riding.
  • We agree that we don't own the pavements and will practice courtesy and patience at all times 
  • Watch out for pedestrians who don't pay attention to their surroundings
  • Wheel at a comfortable speed. The wheel has a speed warning device which beeps at 12km/h and we should avoid hitting that range. 
  • Slow down when approaching traffic lights. If it is too crowded, step down and push.
  • Protective gear such as helmets and arm and knee guards are encouraged
  • Always have proper lights on your wheels if you are riding at night 
  • No wheeling in shopping malls, bus interchanges, MRT stations and places that PEVs are banned  
  • When wheeling in a group, try to keep in a single file 

While the Wheelies is not a registered society / organization, we at our growing electric unicycle community do seriously care about the future of electric wheeling in Singapore and the welfare of everyone involved in this. Do play your part too in keeping wheeling safe and legal for all.

Don't put us behind bars!

The Wheelies

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The Wheelies Times Editors