Cycling

75-YEAR-OLD ARRESTED FOR USING MOTORISED PERSONAL MOBILITY AID

The motorised Personal Mobility Aid used by the 75-year-old man: police took a dim view of the device and arrested him for four offences

A 75-year-old man on a motorised Personal Mobility Aid (PMA) was among eight arrested in New Territories North earlier this week as police step up their e-mobility crackdown codenamed “Goldensun”.

A total of six men and two women, aged between 37 and 75, were arrested during the two-day campaign in Tai Po, Tuen Mun, Tin Shui Wai and Sheung Shui.

The arrest of a PMA rider is unusual, even as crackdowns on e-scooters and e-bikes are becoming more common.

PMAs, such as electric wheelchairs and e-mobility scooters, have generally been regarded as “medical devices”, not motor vehicles, under the law. These devices are not still properly regulated, but authorities have shown tolerance for their use.

In June 2020 the government said PMAs should be allowed for use on footpaths but should be banned for use on cycle tracks or roads. However, laws enshrining this view are yet to be written, pending the results of Transport Department’s long-overdue trial of e-mobility devices.

Police say the 75-year-old man arrested had no disability and was “not really a person in need”. “We would not normally arrest someone [using a PMA] if they have a disability,” said a police source.

Officers arrested each of the eight for the slate of four common e-mobility offences: driving an unregistered vehicle, driving without a valid licence, driving without insurance and driving without wearing an approved protective helmet.

The operation brings the number of e-mobility arrests to 26 since August, when Transit Jam began keeping detailed records of such enforcement. Police earlier said they have no data on the number of e-mobility arrests or devices seized.

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