A Tallinn city councilor with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) who drove his car into a cyclist was using the vehicle as a taxi, operating on the Bolt platform, at the time, daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) reports.
The cyclist, who was wearing dark clothing and had no obvious lights on their bike, had crossed into the path of the vehicle, being driven by councilor Mart Kallas close to the central bus station in Tallinn, on the evening of Friday, October 28, and was seen to kick at the front of the car before dismounting a short distance further up the road. At this point Kallas drove at the individual, who threw his bike at the approaching car and ended up on its hood. The cyclist was uninjured in the incident, while the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has stated that both parties acted "unnecessarily aggressively".
The entire incident was captured on a dashcam or similar.
"I was driving a Bolt, yes," Kallas told EPL (link in Estonian), adding that "I sometimes drive on Friday evenings when there's nothing to do."
Kallas said that he did not know whether he had been barred from using Bolt as a driver since footage of the incident, which he placed on his own social media page with an explainer and has subsequently ended up on at least one website specializing in video clips of unusual incidents, adding that: "I don't care either."
Kallas said he had not performed any duties for Bolt since the incident took place a week ago.
EPL says it is awaiting an answer from Bolt on that question, adding that the company's website states that drivers must provide services "in a professional manner" and must follow traffic regulations.
EPL reports that Bold may remove a driver from the app if they have been adjudged to have acted in a way which damaged the company brand reputation, and has done just that in more than one case, for instance in Latvia, where Bolt also operates, after a driver refused to stop playing the Russian national anthem on their music system despite a customer request to refrain from doing so, or, in Estonia, following rape allegations, which were later adjudged to have been unfounded, EPL reports.
Kallas told the daily that the matter was now being processed by the authorities; EPL reports the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has commenced proceedings on the basis of §223 of the Traffic Act, which deals with negligence while driving and violations of which can result in a fine of up to €1,200 and/or a six-month suspension of a driver's license, EPL says.
The original EPL article (in Estonian) is here.
Kallas maintains that the cyclist, who has not been publicly named, had presented a potential threat and that his actions were purely a defensive measure.
Kallas is not the only politician to have moonlighted as a Bolt taxi driver in recent months; Center MP Martin Repinski has also been ferrying passengers around Tallinn.
Editor: Andrew Whyte