Hong Kong’s Transport Department will likely begin a trial scheme of electric scooters and bicycles on cycle tracks in Tseung Kwan O and Pak Shek Kok this year at the earliest, according to a report in the South China Morning Post. However, hoverboards will be excluded as they do not have brakes and lights.

Ringo Lee Yiu-pui, an adviser on the Transport Department’s electric mobility devices committee, said that the devices allowed in the trials must adhere to strict parameters. They should weigh more than 20kg, be wider than 65cm, and ridden at speeds lower than 25km/h.

In addition, they must have a white front light, a red rear light, a red reflector, an effective braking system and an alarm warning device. The battery must also meet European Union safety standards to prevent the possibility of leakage, overheating and sparking a fire while charging.

Lee, who is the president of the Hong Kong Automobile Association, said authorities first planned to allow e-mobility devices on cycle tracks, but not pavements and carriageways. He added that laws and penalties on the use of these devices would be covered by bicycle regulations.

Electric scooters and hoverboards are currently banned on Hong Kong carriageways, footpaths and cycle tracks under the Road Traffic Ordinance. Offences are punishable by a HK$5,000 fine and three months’ jailtime.

Last year, the Transport Department organised a six-month pilot trial on the use of electric mobility devices on a 3km-long cycle track section at Pak Shek Kok between University Station and the Science Park from between May and November. The trial assessed the use of motorised personal mobility devices and power-assisted pedal cycles for short commutes on a cycle track between a workplace and a transport hub.

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In 2021, the department also conducted site trials on stretches of cycle tracks in Tseung Kwan O South and adjacent to the Hong Kong Science Park. In February, the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Lam Sai-hung, said authorities were reviewing and analysing the trial results and may permit the use the certain e-mobility devices on cycle tracks if they met certain technical and safety requirements.

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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