As another e-scooter season draws to a close and weather conditions worsen, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has issued a reminder to e-scooter riders to exercise caution in avoiding accidents and injury, both to themselves and others.
Postimees reports that between 2021 and 2022, the number of accidents involving e-scooters rose from 223 to 349, while the number of people injured in these accidents increased from 230 (29 serious) to 356 (60 serious, along with one fatality) over the same time-frame.
Excessive speed is one of the main culprits and, while top speeds were in 2021 capped at 25 km/h, and later to 20 km/h, this is still quite a pace and is only really suitable for well-maintained sidewalks and other thoroughfares – not really the norm in many of Estonia's towns – even before bringing pedestrians and road users into the equation.
Police in Jõhvi issued a video that highlighted the risks – in this case, while a moving car did not slow up, in what appears to be damp weather conditions, at a pedestrian crossing, neither did the occupants of the scooter (who were already breaking scooter rental firms' rules by riding two-at-a-time), who were caught by the vehicles left rear (see video below), fortunately without serious injury.
In addition to the general speed limit, speeds must be curbed further (to as low as 3-5 km/h) when pedestrians, who can justifiably feel threatened when an e-scooter rider comes barreling towards them, are present; some e-scooter rentals automatically cut the speed via the app.
The speed limit and other requirements applies equally to privately-owned e-scooters.
Editor: Andrew Whyte