Local governments may get the right to restrict scooters

Bolt rental e-scooters and electric bicycle, in Tallinn.
Bolt rental e-scooters and electric bicycle, in Tallinn. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Local governments could be given the right to regulate light vehicles, such as electric scooters. The government's traffic committee discussed amendments pertaining to scooters on Wednesday and plans to table a bill before winter.

As long as scooters remain cheap and available, there will be masses of them. There is little control and the number of scooter-related accidents is up, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut suggested.

Speed and parking limitations depending on the time and place are expected to arrive come spring, with local governments in charge of individual rules.

"The important thing is to give local governments the right to lay down rules. The bill is in the works, we hope to have it ready for coordination in late November, which is when a public debate about the details will follow," Sikkut said.

Tallinn Deputy Mayor Tanel Kiik said he hopes the current Riigikogu will manage to pass the bill in time for the new rules to enter into force in spring.

"As things stand today, light vehicles can legally hit speeds of 25 kilometers per hour. Tallinn finds this should be limited to 15-20 km/h. Scooter drivers are obligated to match the speed of pedestrians when near them already. Manufacturers' solutions that would not allow these devices to go faster than pedestrians on walkways would also be welcome," Kiik said.

Scooters should also not allow the user to end the ride if not parked in a suitable location. Right now, electric scooters cannot be parked in the Old Town or traffic islands, with speed limits in place near schools and kindergartens, as well as crowded spaces.

The other aspect where I expect to see cooperation and action by manufacturers has to do with drunk driving and several people using the same scooter," Kiik added.

Karin Kase, head of public relations at Bolt, told "Aktuaalne kaamera" news that the company has limited the top speed of their scooters on weekend nights everywhere in Estonia. All companies in the business should be subject to the same rules, while regulations should not render the service pointless by making it too cumbersome to use.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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