Following a deadly collision in Tartu on Tuesday, marking Estonia's first electric scooter-related death, Tarvo Säälik, a traffic officer of the Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) South Prefecture, stressed that electric scooters must be ridden on sidewalks for safety reasons, according to regional paper Tartu Postimees.
While they can pose a danger to other pedestrians due to their top speeds, which average around 25-35 kilometers per hour but can top out at up to 80 kilometers per hour, electric scooters must nonetheless be ridden on sidewalks, not roadways, Säälik said according to the regional paper (link in Estonian).
Legally speaking, electric scooters are currently classified not as vehicles but as pedestrian mobility aids, and amendments to the Traffic Act aimed at establishing clearer rules governing electric scooters are still in the Riigikogu, but the law isn't what saves people, he continued.
"Regardless of what they are moving with, people themselves have to understand that an appropriate travel speed, safety gear, being alert and having a clear head will save both them and others," the officer said.
According to the PPA, a total of two crashes in Estonia involved electric scooters last year; Tuesday's crash marked the third this year, and the first in the country in which someone was killed.
Editor: Aili Vahtla