Written by: Huang Weilun
Last update date: 2020-10-30 14:15
Electric movable tools such as electric scooters, electric balance bikes or electric unicycles commonly known as "hot wheels" are becoming more popular and can be seen from time to time in Hong Kong.
However, under the current laws, it is illegal to use these tools in public places. In the middle of this year, the government explored how to legally try electric movable tools.
The Transport Department has recently officially announced a field trial plan. After registration, citizens can try electric movable tools at the cycling track beside the Pak Shek Kok promenade in the Science Park or the cycling track beside the Tseung Kwan O Waterfront Park to gather experience and promote future legislation.
However, registered participants of the Pilot Cycling Track Program must hold an official private car or motorcycle driving license and have at least one year of experience in the use of electric movable tools.
If members of the public wish to participate in the trial of cycling tracks in the Science Park area, registration will be closed today (30th).
The Hong Kong Portable Electric Vehicle Association stated that people who use electric movable tools do not necessarily want to drive a vehicle and do not necessarily have a driving license.
However, the Transport Department needs to purchase "Third Party Risk Insurance" for the current trial plan. In addition, it is currently in a trial stage. It is understood that stricter requirements are required. It is hoped that similar tools can be used more flexibly after the relevant laws are revised in the future.
Participants requirements of the pilot program (pilot program website)
The Transport and Housing Bureau and the Transport Department submitted a document to the Legislative Council in the middle of this year. They plan to implement a field trial plan for electric movable tools in the Science Park and Tseung Kwan O in the second half of this year. After that, consultations will be initiated and the legislative amendments are planned to start in 2021.
The Transport Department has recently officially announced the details of the field trial plan to study the public's acceptance of the use of electric personal mobility tools in cycling tracks; understand the interaction between related tools and ordinary single workshops; and the effectiveness of related safety requirements.
According to the plan, participants need to hold a full driving license for a private car or motorcycle; have at least 1 year of experience in operating electric movable tools; and need to bring their own relevant tools that meet the requirements.
Eligible persons can register to participate in the Science Park and Tseung Kwan O field trials within today; or before November 20, register to participate in the Tseung Kwan O field trials only.
The Science Park project will start from December 11th to 13th, from 10 am to 6 pm; the Tseung Kwan O project will start from January 29th to 31st at the same time.
The Transport Department also has certain requirements for the specifications of electric movable tools. For example, when the speed does not exceed 25 kilometers per hour, when using electric scooters, electric bicycles, etc., you also need to wear the bicycle safety helmet provided by the conference, and the tools must be equipped with White headlights and red taillights.
The width of the electric assisted bicycle shall not be more than 700 mm, and shall be equipped with an alarm warning device, etc.
In addition, both can not wear passengers, have effective braking and parking devices, and have a speedometer or an application that can display vehicle speed.
Requirements for Electric Movable Tools (Trial Project Website)
Yan Chengyi, president of the Hong Kong Portable Electric Vehicle Association, said that people who use electric movable tools do not necessarily want to drive a vehicle and do not necessarily have a license plate. He believes that the current regulations may conflict with the original intent of related tools and "the public may be used as toys."
He also said that the scope of the trial plan is relatively narrow. He originally hoped to test more bends, ramps, and tunnels, and hoped that the government could expand the scope of trial locations.
Under this plan, applicants are required to provide information to apply for "Car Permit" and purchase "Third Party Risk Insurance", and the organizer will be responsible for related expenses.
The chairman of the association, Xu Jianxin, said that since he does not have third-party insurance for the relevant tools, under the plan, a driver’s license is required to purchase insurance.
He said that the current trial is like a probationary period at work to understand the usage conditions. Therefore, it is understood that the regulations will be stricter. It is hoped that the measures will be more flexible after the regulations are revised in the future.
The government currently prohibits the use of electric movable tools such as electric scooters.
As for the tools used in the trial plan, the authorities set a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour. Xu Jianxin said that the relevant regulations are reasonable, and many regions such as Taiwan and Singapore also use the same standard.
He continued that studies have shown that when related tools are driven at speeds of 25 kilometers per hour or below, the risk of death will be greatly reduced in the event of an accident.
Xu Jianxin also said that according to his knowledge, there are about 100 places for the test. Except for some more popular models, other models need to be sent to designated places for "vehicle inspection."
The Transport Department has launched a field trial project, hoping to understand the public's acceptance of electric mobility tools and electric bicycles.
(Pilot Project website)
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Fang Baoqiao, honorary chairman of the Hong Kong Information Technology Chamber of Commerce, believes that electric movable tools are popular in many parts of the world, and he agrees that the Hong Kong government needs to regulate instead of completely illegally prohibiting them.
He agreed that participants of the plan need to have a certain amount of road driving experience to avoid accidents.
Cycle Track Transport Department