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Published: 13:44, June 14, 2023 | Updated: 13:47, June 14, 2023
HK eyes allowing e-scooters on cycle tracks
By Wang Zhan
Published:13:44, June 14, 2023 Updated:13:47, June 14, 2023 By Wang Zhan

In this undated photo, a visitor (right) checks out e-scooters at Hellobike's booth during the sixth China Smart City Expo held in Beijing in December 2020. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – The Transport Department has asked the Legislative Council to allow electric scooters and other electric mobility devices (EMDs) on designated cycle tracks under strict regulations.

In a paper submitted to the LegCo, the department proposed amending existing legislation to allow EMDs like e-scooters, e-bicycles, electric unicycles and electric hoverboards on “appropriate cycle tracks by phases”.

“Given the dense population and high vehicular traffic flow in Hong Kong, we consider that EMDs should not be used on footpaths or carriageways. However, with proper regulation, they may be used in new development areas with well-planned cycle tracks in the future so as to promote green and low-carbon living,” the department said.

According to the department’s proposals, EMD users should at least be 16 years old, wear a helmet, and not go over 25 kilometers per hour

According to the department’s proposals, EMD users should at least be 16 years old, wear a helmet, and not go over 25 kilometers per hour.

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EMDs will be certified to make sure that they comply with technical and safety specifications. Complaint EMDs will get a “designated mark with a QR code affixed to them” for easy identification by law enforcement officers to help combat the use of illegal EMDs.

The department added that it was working with the Hong Kong Productivity Council for further details about the certification system and was seeking the views of other stakeholders.

“We expect that active transport such as EMDs, walking and cycling can provide effective short-distance commuting options to support the railway network, which is the backbone of the transportation system, thereby reducing the overall demand for motorized transport for short-distance journeys and lowering carbon emission,” the department said.

The department added that it was keen on ensuring road safety, noting that over the past four years, there were 72 accidents involving EMDs, resulting in six fatalities.

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Site trials were held on cycle tracks in Tseung Kwan O and Pak Shek Kok in 2021, during which a questionnaire survey was conducted to get the views of about 1,500 members of public on their acceptance of EMDs on cycle tracks.

The department said some 60 percent of the respondents supported the use of properly regulated EMDs on cycle tracks, and most of them considered the speed and width limits on EMDs as well as the safety equipment requirements on EMDs and users as appropriate.

The LegCo Panel on Transport is set to discuss the department’s proposals on Friday.

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