LTO to require registration of electric scooters, e-bikes; licenses for drivers

Personal mobility devices such as electric scooters and e-bikes will be required to be registered, while their drivers will need to have a license, an official from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said on Tuesday.

Land Transportation Office (LTO) (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said the agency has already submitted an initial copy of guidelines to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) which is now drafting a memorandum circular that will oversee all kinds of electric vehicles including e-scooters and two-wheeled e-bikes.

"Generally, sa ating batas, Republic Act 4136, irregardless kung ito ay electric- or gas-powered vehicle, kailangan ito ay registered at ang gumagamit ay lisensyado," Galvante said in an interview on Tuesday. (Generally, under our law, Republic Act 4136, irregardless if it is an electric- or gas-powered vehicle, it must be registered and the user should have a license.)

In the draft guidelines, Galvante said e-scooters and e-bikes are categorized -- those in the lower category can be used only within private compounds such as village or subdivisions, while bigger ones may be allowed to cross main roads but will not be allowed to traverse along highways or avenues.

Should they be allowed to travel along public roads, Galvante said that a protective attire will also be required.

The LTO chief emphasized that restricting the operation of e-scooters and e-bikes is for the welfare of the riders to ensure their safety while on the road.

"Sana ma-realize nila na ito ay hindi lang para pagbawalan sila kundi para sa kapakanan rin nila. Very vulnerable and susceptible kasi sila na ma-involve sa aksidente. Kaligtasan din nila ang isinasangalang natin," Galvante said. (I hope they will realize that this is not to ban them but to ensure their safety. They are very vulnerable and susceptible to being involved in an accident. Their safety is always what we consider.)

"Pinu-push nga actually ang mga electric vehicles dahil malaki anag maitutulong nito sa pagbawas ng polusyon," he added. (Electric vehicles are actually being pushed because it will help a lot in reducing pollution.)

Galvante said the memorandum will be published by the agency once it is approved by the DOTr for immediate implementation.