An e-scooter on a Riga bike lane, Source: Riga Municipality

Riga asks Latvian parliament to grant cities more control over e-scooters

Riga asks Latvian parliament to grant cities more control over e-scooters

It’s the latest European capital that wants to do something about the rampant and chaotic use of the two-wheelers in its public spaces

The Riga City Council has submitted amendment proposals to the Latvian Road Traffic Law, which will be voted on by the country’s parliament (Saeima) on second reading. The principal objective behind the proposal is to ensure that municipalities will get the right to regulate and monitor the use of electric scooters on their streets since they feel that their hands are currently tied when it comes to implementing order.

The amendment proposals provide for the right of municipalities to determine areas where the placement and use of e-scooters are prohibited. The local government would also be entitled to determine the procedure for issuing, cancelling or temporarily suspending licenses for companies and individuals that provide commercial services of shared electric scooters.

Possible introduction of driving licenses for two-wheelers

In that sense, Riga becomes the latest European capital to take action regarding its e-scooter policy.

The Deputy Mayor of Riga, Vilnis Ķirsis had the following to comment on the reasoning behind the legislative proposal:

"In Riga, as in other European metropolises, the number of users of electric scooters and various other micromobility tools has significantly increased in recent years. At the same time, issues such as the security aspect have come to light.

Experts agree that the key to successful integration of e-scooter users into daily traffic is a cooperation between the government, municipalities, industry representatives and civil society, but mutual respect of all traffic participants, learning road traffic rules and how to operate micromobility tools already at school age would make their use safer and significantly prevent trauma”.

The amendments to the law provide for the control of the electric scooters' speed and also stipulate that the rider must have the right to drive a vehicle of any category, including a bicycle driver's license. Thus, it would be ensured that only people who have learned the rules of the road can participate in traffic. 

Taking into account the experience of other countries, the amendments to the law also provide that electric scooters must be equipped with a state registration number plate, which can be attached to their structure, and their registration would be mandatory.



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