Auxiliary police officers also educate public and help deter offenders from turning violent
More eyes to help detect errant cyclists, PMD users Auxiliary police officer Muhammad Hanafi Azeman, 27, sharing information on the Active Mobility Act with cyclists in Tanjong Rhu on Saturday. ST PHOTO: SONG TAO

There are now more boots on the ground to deal with errant cyclists and users of Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs).

Since May, auxiliary police officers from Certis Cisco have been progressively deployed alongside the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) Active Mobility Enforcement Officers.

The auxiliary police officers assist in "detecting possible errant behaviours, deterring offenders from turning violent and aggressive, and distributing public education collaterals to path users", an LTA spokesman told The Straits Times.

But they do not carry out any enforcement action, such as impounding non-compliant PMDs, which their LTA counterparts are empowered by law to do.

The LTA declined to say how many auxiliary police officers have been roped in, citing operational concerns. It said it has a team of more than 50 Active Mobility Enforcement Officers and has also cross-trained other officers to carry out enforcement action against reckless cyclists and PMD users.

The LTA said it is assessing the efficacy of the auxiliary police officer deployment. ST understands that these officers could be granted similar enforcement powers in future.

The Active Mobility Act, which regulates the use of bicycles, power-assisted bicycles and PMDs on footpaths, shared cycling paths and roads, kicked in on May 1.

From then till July 15, enforcement officers recorded 922 offences, which included speeding, reckless riding and the use of non-compliant devices, according to the LTA. Summons are issued to offenders after investigations are completed.

In the same period, 701 devices were impounded for being non-compliant.

Under the law, PMDs cannot exceed the weight limit of 20kg, maximum width of 70cm and maximum speed of 25kmh.

On Saturday, ST was invited to observe Mr Muhammad Shahri Samani, 30, an Active Mobility Enforcement Officer, and his team at work at a pedestrian bridge in Tanjong Rhu to educate cyclists and PMD users.

Mr Shahri said the auxiliary police officers provide additional support.

"Before we start our operations, we will assess the ground and how to stop them (the riders). If they try to U-turn and evade us, we can deploy the auxiliary police officers to block them so they cannot run."

He said the fastest PMD user his team has caught was an e-scooter rider last month who was riding at a speed of 39kmh. Under the law, the speed limit is 15kmh on footpaths and 25kmh on park connectors and shared paths.

A 57-year-old cleaner, who wanted to be identified only as Mr Liang, felt that the requirement to dismount from his bicycle while on the bridge was too strict.

Mr Liang said in Mandarin: "I have been riding across this bridge for the last 10 years. I go slow and won't hurt anyone."

Mr Shahri said: "Riders can be protective of their devices and will not let us impound them. We try the soft approach first, and if it fails, tell them it is an offence to obstruct our work. My team has had to call the police down at least five times," he added.