Electric scooter accidents on the increase

Electric scooter
Electric scooter Source: ERR

Several accidents with electric scooters have happened in recent days, including a fatality in Tartu.

Yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, a car and an electric scooter collided at the intersection of Liivalaia and Lastekodu tänav in central Tallinn. The scooter rider was taken to the hospital to check for their injuries. 

In Kohtla-Järve, Ida-Viru County, an electric scooter rider hit a car that had stopped to give way to another vehicle.  

A 49-year-old man died after an accident involving an electric scooter in Tartu on Tuesday.

Varmo Rein, head of the traffic police patrol service at Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), said: "While approaching an intersection, speeds can be high. Drivers are often not focused and they are not ready to hit the brakes quickly enough if necessary." 

The PPA advises people to always check for other vehicles before approaching the intersection. The speed for the drivers must be appropriate, as they have to follow the traffic conditions and law, and while approaching the pedestrian crossing, the electric scooter rider should step off their vehicle. It is important to wear a helmet while riding a bike or an electric scooter as well, although many users do not do this. Doctors who deal with injuries advise the same practise. 

Trauma doctor Aleksandr Petrojev said that the main injuries bike riders receive come to the limbs and head. He added that wearing the helmet prevents major head injuries. Had the Tartu victim been wearing a helmet, this may also have saved his life.

Petrojev recalled from his own memory: "During one summertime, a child who was not wearing a helmet collided with a car. Unfortunately, the child did not survive, and the injuries were particularly deep and horrifying." 

Thomas Tammus, direct manager at Bolt, a major provider of electric scooter rentals, said that in addition to wearing a helmet, the traffic behavior and correct speed are important factors while riding. The maximum speed of the scooter in Tallinn is regulated to 20 km/h - which most for-rent scooters are limited to in any case, though privately-owned electric scooters are often more powerful.

Tammus added: "One of the major problems that drivers do is driving with multiple people on it. People need to realize that the scooter will be unstable at that moment and the accidents are easy to come then." 

The traffic law is to be changed further to regulate electric scooter use. The bill's first reading has been carried out and passed the Riigikogu. 25 km/h will be set as the maximum speed, 10-15 years old will need to show a license and under 16-year-olds must wear a helmet. 


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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