E-scooters will no longer have free reign on sidewalks , Source: Tomi Vadasz / Unsplash

Sofia cracks down on e-scooters with fines of up to 500 euros for companies

Sofia cracks down on e-scooters with fines of up to 500 euros for companies

Drivers will be legally required to push their scooters manually in pedestrian areas and parks

Today, Georgy Georgiev, the chairman of the local council in Sofia announced a package of measures aimed at reining in electric scooters and ride-sharing companies. According to him, the measures will ban scooters from driving in parks, sidewalks and squares, among other places.

The package also calls for a system of fines on both citizen offenders and operators, ranging from 25 euro to 500 euro. The higher fines, in particular, are aimed at companies who refuse to comply with the city’s regulations while managing around 2,000 scooters currently deployed.

Pushing your scooter in parks

Although the regulations have not yet been adopted into law, they have the support of the majority leaders in Sofia’s municipal council – GERB and the coalition ‘Patriots for Sofia’, while the policy proposition will come on the voting agenda in July.

Nevertheless, Georgiev announced the proposition, focusing on curbing the chaos caused by rental scooters. One of the key propositions is limiting rental scooter speed to 5 kilometres per hour, the average speed of a walking human, while private scooters would be banned from riding in some areas altogether. According to him, riders will have to push their scooters.

The fine for violators will be 25 euros, and no-ride zones will include parks, outdoor sports facilities and playgrounds, green spaces, pedestrian areas, squares, public transport stops and metro entrances, sidewalks and ramps for the disabled.

For rental scooters, local authorities want operators to create parking areas to avoid chaos around restricted zone entrances. Additionally, the city also claims to have around 200 designated parking areas for scooters throughout the road network.

Companies have a higher burden of information

Companies will now have to inform their customers about new parking regulations as well as the driving regulations on drunk riding of e-scooters. Additionally, as companies will not be able to restrict riding and parking on sidewalks, citizens will be able to contact operators to report violations.

Then, operators will have a period of four hours to remove a scooter of around 150 euros. For failing to limit speed in designated areas and not showing proper parking places in their apps, companies would face a fine of 250 euros to 500 euros.



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