New regulations for electric scooters to be introduced
The Ministry of Economic Affairs wants to put forward new legislation about the use and rights of electric scooters when they are used on public roads.
Tallinn City Government has asked for the regulation of scooter traffic to be included in the traffic law, because currently other road users are not sufficiently protected against high-speed electric scooters. Tallinn City Government currently limits scooters to a top speed of 20 kilometers per hour.
Bolt and CityBee electric scooters arrived in Estonia in June and have so far proved to be very popular with users.
"As electric scooters and other similar modes of transport for pedestrians have developed rapidly and there has been a surge in activity, we agree that this will also require a revision of the existing traffic rules," the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in response to the request from Tallinn City Government.
The ministry has confirmed that it has started to make more specific rules for the use of electric scooters and plans to include such proposals in a draft amendment to the Traffic Act 2013 and other acts initiated last October.
"We have asked the parties for various proposals to amend the traffic law, discussions with various experts and interest groups have been conducted and we are preparing our own proposals based on the input received."
"It is too early to say what the final regulation of the traffic law will be, but the proposals largely overlap with the positions received so far, and we will certainly consider them when developing the rules," the ministry said.
In July, soon after the scooters introduction the Police and Border Guard (PPA) said new restrictions would probably be needed.
Head of the PPA northern prefecture office Varmo Rein said: "All this needs to be regulated in line with electric vehicles. I personally feel that it is a bit under-regulated at the moment. Life has evolved, but the law has not."
Currently, the Traffic Act 2013 gives scooter users the same status as skateboarders, who pedestrians are not obliged to leap out of the way of as they approach. Instead, it is the riders' responsibility to ensure they do not endanger pedestrians and prevent them from moving at their own pace.
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Editor: Helen Wright