Electric scooters (e-scooters) have since 2015 grown rapidly in availability and popularity across Europe. There are several positive aspects of e-scooters, such as eco-mobility and making transportation easier in everyday big city life. At the same time, there are challenges for cities such as safety, use of public space, traffic management and others.
In the EU, there are different regulations when it comes to public transportation. For example, in Germany, the regulation of e-scooters is governed by the Elektrokleinstfahrzeuge-Verordnung, (eKFV), which establishes rules for a minimum age of use, liability insurance, vehicle safety requirements and limits use to roads. Thereby, in Germany, local authorities can only intervene in the case of severe road traffic or parking offences but otherwise have limited regulatory options.
According to think-tank EUROCITIES, the main factor for the success of e-scooter management has been recognised as early and continuous dialogue with operators as Voi, Lime and Bolt. One vital solution is cooperation and mutual understanding between authorities and operators. Among other examples are the importance of establishing exchange internally, regular dialogue with police authorities and involving the public.
EUROCITIES also recommend that regulations can be used to restrict the parking of e-scooters in sensitive areas, such as pavements, historic monuments and parks. The establishment of parking zones is another emerging option to tackle the public nuisance of poor parking.
Another key example of death and serious injury cases on the road is speed. In many cases, national legislation has established speed limits for e-scooters where for example, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden have imposed a nationwide speed limit of 20 km/h, while France, Portugal and Spain have speed limits of 25 km/h.
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