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Most citizens see e-scooters as good fun, despite the rising traffic incidents related to their use

Stuttgart is introducing regulations for e-scooters

Stuttgart is introducing regulations for e-scooters

The move was provoked by the increased number of accidents happening with intoxicated riders

Yesterday, authorities in Stuttgart, Germany, announced they will crack down on what they deem ‘irresponsible use’ of e-scooters. This ride-sharing service has been around the Baden-Württemberg capital for three years now, however, the novel attraction for young and adventurous citizens seems to have sustained the test of time.

According to the city, electric scooters are primarily used for short trips in the inner city, some recreational, some work-related, with a predominantly young demographic attracted to the service. At the same time, however, Clemens Maier, the Mayor of the Department for Safety, Order and Sport, claims that scooters are perceived as fun, rather than a form of dangerous transportation.

He explained that e-scooters are not fun toys, but can be a hazard both to their users and others on the road. In fact, city authorities claim that 80% of the 147 road accidents involving a personal injury or property damage in 2021 were related to irresponsible scooter piloting. This is why the city has developed a series of measures to combat irresponsible behaviour.

Banning scooters from most sidewalks

It seems like e-scooters are everywhere in big cities these days. On the sidewalks, in pedestrian zones, parks, streets, and back yards. In Stuttgart alone, there are four companies that operate a ride-sharing service, and each company deploys between 800 and 1,500 scooters every day, varying based on weather and day of the week.

This intensity of traffic can cause many disruptions, especially considering the lax restrictions on parking and driving the scooters. Thus the city has opted to implement a host of measures, from designated parking spaces to an alcohol use test.

The first measure, parking restrictions, includes the introduction of parking zones, where scooter providers would offer free ride minutes to people who use them. These have been coordinated with the city and they represent the only positive reinforcement measure they have implemented.

At the same time, traffic monitoring would have the burden to inform scooter riders if they are parked incorrectly, say, in the middle of the sidewalk. This measure is in place because incorrect parking can decrease the accessibility of the city, particularly for people with disabilities. Furthermore, certain areas like pedestrian zones and parks would become geo-locked for e-scooters.

The second key measure involves introducing reaction tests when renting out an e-scooter, due to the fact that most accidents occur when riders are intoxicated. Thus, the apps would have reaction tests to check people’s fitness to drive.

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