Some members of the public have relayed that while the number of skateboards, scooters and electric mobility devices (including electric scooters, electric unicycles, electric hoverboards, electric skateboards and electric bicycles) used on footpaths has increased significantly in recent years, some users who operate such devices with poor attitude and inadequate safety awareness have caused dangerous situations. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective numbers of (i) accidents, (ii) casualties and (iii) prosecution cases involving skateboards, scooters and electric mobility devices in each of the past three years;
(2) whether it will enact legislation to require users of skateboards and scooters to wear safety helmets and other protective equipment; if so, of the legislative timetable; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) whether it will enact legislation to regulate electric mobility devices, and require that users using such devices on carriageways must take out third party insurance?
In consultation with the Home Affairs Bureau and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, my reply to the various parts of the question raised by the Hon Chan Kin-por is as follows.
(1) According to the information of the Hong Kong Police Force (the Police), the numbers of accidents, casualties and arrested cases involving electric mobility devices (EMDs) over the past three years are as follows:
Year No. of accidents No. of arrested cases
Involving casualties With
2020 17 1 18 285
2021 23 4 27 217
May 31, 2022) 7 0 7 79
The Police and the Transport Department (TD) do not maintain statistics on the number of prosecutions involving EMDs and the numbers of accidents, casualties and prosecutions involving skateboards and scooters.
(2) and (3) According to the relevant bureaux/departments, currently we have no plan to introduce legislation on mandating users of skateboards and scooters to wear helmets and other protective equipments. However, as the use of EMDs (including electric scooters, electric unicycles and power-assisted pedal cycles, etc.) is gaining popularity in Hong Kong in recent years, we are exploring ways for proper regulation of their use in Hong Kong. Our initial view is that while EMDs shall not be used on footpaths and carriageways for the sake of the safety of pedestrians and other road users, arrangements for their use on cycle tracks may be explored should certain technical and safety requirements be met. In this connection, the TD conducted site trials in 2021 on sections of cycle tracks in Tseung Kwan O and along the Science Park respectively, with a view to gaining the relevant experience of regulating EMDs and their technical and safety requirements. Starting from May this year, the TD has also been carrying out a six-month pilot trial at the cycle track between the Science Park and the MTR University Station to gather data on the use of EMDs for short-distance commuting.
We will carefully review and analyse the results of the aforementioned trials, listen to the views of the relevant stakeholders, and draw reference from the requirements in other regions for further considering the regulatory framework for EMDs (including whether or not to require users to take out third party risk insurance), and report to the Legislative Council in due course.