E-scooter/stepjes rijders even opletten!

04/13/2023

Twee artikelen in de kranten vandaag, ten eerste zijn er dit jaar al 11.000 boetes uitgedeeld aan de huurders van scooters/stepjes (4 in 2020) en binninkort kan je ze alleen nog achterlaten in de specialle plekken voor de scooters. 

Nearly 11,000 e-scooter fines handed out last year. In 2020, there were just 4

E-scooter enforcement has cranked up in recent years, as their popularity soars

A total of 10,999 fines were slapped on e-scooters across the island in 2022, nearly triple the amount issued the previous year.

From 2020 to April this year, 19,721 e-scooter fines were given out by the Local Enforcement System Agency (LESA). Fines issued to e-scooter users and providers have soared in recent years as the popularity of the two-wheeled vehicle surged.

So far this year, 4,020 fines were issued, a jump from 2020, when only four fines had been issued. In 2021, a total of 4,702 were issued.

Malta, and many other European cities, has seen a boom in the use of e-scooters, yet, while such vehicles provide an easier, cheaper and faster means of transport, they have become a nuisance to residents and pedestrians who have voiced their frustration of having to navigate around carelessly parked scooters.

Most of the fines – 14,938 – were issued for obstruction and inconvenience to the public. Another 2,197 were for parking on the pavement.

Earlier this year, Transport Malta seized 137 e-scooters as law enforcement was stepped up. However, questions sent to the entity for an updated figure were not answered at the time of writing.

LESA's CEO told Times of Malta that the contraventions were mainly issued in Sliema, St Julian's and Msida ‒ the localities where e-scooters are mostly use.

Earlier this month, Paris became the first and only major European capital to outlaw the use of rental electric scooters. Once pioneers in embracing e-scooter services, an overwhelming 90 per cent of Parisians opted to ban the use of scooters. As the popularity of the vehicles increased, so did the number of accidents; three people died and 459 were injured in e-scooter accidents in the French capital last year.

Locally, while no deaths have been reported from any e-scooter accidents, MPs have called for stricter regulations for the use of e-scooters before a tragedy takes place.

Bolt, one of the main operators of local e-scooter rentals, last summer set up a team to collect badly parked or discarded e-scooters. The team moved 350 scooters every day last September. The same company also began testing a new app feature that would discourage tandem riding, as part of a wider safety features package.

According to the subsidiary legislation for micro-mobility, e-scooter providers are meant to ensure users are over 16 years of age, hold an appropriate licence and use technology that stops them from being used on arterial or distributor roads as well as underpasses and tunnels.

According to the policy, e-scooters can only be used by the driver and may not be used to transport a passenger.

Parking Bays For E-Scooters To Be Rolled Out Across Malta By Summer

Certain local councils have ignited talks with the relevant authorities to set up designated e-scooter parking bays in their respective areas, Times of Malta has reported.

This move comes as part of a new system that aims to prevent e-scooters from being left haphazardly on pavements or in front of garages. Under this system, riders will continue to be charged until their e-scooters are parked in the designated spots.

Transport Malta (TM) is currently working with major e-scooter operators and local councils to identify suitable locations for these parking bays.

Meetings have already taken place with the Naxxar, St Julians, and St Paul's Bay local councils, while further discussions are planned with the councils of Sliema, Msida, Swieqi, Ta' Xbiex, Gżira, and San Ġwann.

The goal is to have the new parking system in place by the summer, pending agreement between the local councils, Transport Malta, and the operators. A spokesperson for TM confirmed that the exercise is still ongoing, with new locations being identified as the process continues.

The introduction of e-scooter parking bays could be a step towards promoting responsible usage of these vehicles. By having designated areas to park e-scooters, riders will be encouraged to leave them in appropriate locations.

This reduces the risk of them being left in places that could pose a danger or obstruction to pedestrians. However it is worth noting these restrictions could deter certain users from using these alternative forms of transport to cars.

This move also highlights the importance of collaboration between government bodies, e-scooter operators, and local councils in finding practical solutions to any issues that arise.

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