The regulations in the Danish capital are becoming one of the strictest in the world for this type of device.
Self-service electric scooters are no longer welcome in Copenhagen city center. The municipality of the capital of Denmark thus adopts one of the strictest regulations in the world on the subject.
“It will no longer be possible to rent or park an electric scooter in most of the densest areas of Copenhagen from January 1,” explained the city’s technical and environmental services. Concretely, these vehicles will be banned from cities in the historic city center, where it is already impossible to drop them off. Adjacent neighborhoods are also affected.
“Unfortunately, we have seen major problems with these electric scooters. It was extremely difficult for the elderly to pass when they are slumped in the street,” Rune Dybvad, a city councilor, told television. According to estimates from the specialized press, 300 accidents related to scooters were deplored in Copenhagen in 2019.
The measure has yet to be approved by the city council but has broad support. The electric scooter is contested in many large cities because of the difficult cohabitation between its users, pedestrians, and cyclists in confined urban spaces, all of which sometimes causes accidents, which can turn out to be fatal, as in April 2019 in Levallois. (Hauts-de-Seine). As a result, municipalities have sometimes strictly regulated its use.
In November, Singapore imposed a ban on electric scooters on sidewalks, following in the footsteps of Germany and France. In Montreal (Quebec, Canada), they are not available after the failure of a trial period due to a lack of respect from users.
The following are the rules one must know before using any electric scooter in Denmark
- It is forbidden to drive a vehicle whose speed is not limited to 20 km / h
- Same traffic rules as bicycles
- Sidewalks prohibited
- Mandatory white or yellow front light and red rear light permanently on 24 hours a day. Both must be seen at 300 m
- Mandatory reflectors: white on the front, one red on the back, and one yellow or white on both sides of the scooter
- Minimum age: 15 years. If you are a minor you can drive in traffic, but you must be accompanied (on an independent scooter)
- Insurance is not mandatory
- Maximum weight of 25 kg; maximum length of 2 m and a maximum width of 0.70 m
- Mandatory CE marking
- In Copenhagen, work is being done on a specific regulation.
Since January 17, it has been legal to ride on the bike paths on electric scooters.
But not everyone is enthusiastic about electric scooters, which can run up to 20 kilometers per hour on their own.
As part of a pilot scheme, the City of Copenhagen is now setting a ceiling of 200 electric scooters and 200 rental bicycles in Copenhagen’s Inner City.
This was decided by a majority in the Technical and Environmental Committee on Monday at a meeting.
In the bridge districts in Copenhagen, the limit will be 3,000 electric scooters and 3,000 bicycles.
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Mayor: Protects citizens from chaos
According to the acting mayor of technology and the environment Karina Vestergård Madsen (EL), it is about creating order in the chaos that the electric scooters are creating:
- We must make sure that there are the scooters in the city that many Copenhageners have been happy to transport themselves on, she says and continues:
- On the other hand, we must ensure that there is no chaos in the city, where it is the scooters that make life unsafe for pedestrians, other cyclists, and cars.
The adopted model is a pilot scheme that will be tested over the summer and early autumn.
The administration and the committee will then evaluate and possibly adapt the model, Vestergård Madsen informs:
-It has something to do with whether we are at the right level. There may also be changes in the law that give us other tools to be able to adjust to this.
Companies must apply for placement
The electric scooters and rental bikes must be placed in selected places in the Inner City, where the administration has assessed that they are not a nuisance.
The administration will contact the companies that have shown interest in having their vehicles parked.
The companies must ask where they will place them, after which the administration will process the applications. One of the criteria that the municipality will look at is the companies’ sustainable profile.
Annoyance at the landlord Lime
The rental company of electric scooters Lime estimates that it has “several hundred scooters” in Copenhagen. Lime’s Danish country manager, Niklas Jensen, is upset about the municipality’s decision:
The popularity of scooters shows that there is a great demand for green transport in Copenhagen. We think it is a pity that it can now be more difficult for Copenhageners to choose a green solution when they go around the city.
He would have liked the operators to have become more involved in the process around the municipality’s decision.
In our opinion, it has been very strong, but we hope that the municipality is still interested in a constructive dialogue about regulations in the area.
It has not been possible to elaborate on how the City of Copenhagen will enforce the pilot scheme in practice.
According to the report, the Danish government’s motive is all about its citizens’ safety especially the older ones. The majority of the reported accidents consist of elderly people being hit because they cannot hear that the electric scooters are coming. Additionally, strict implementation of rules to riders/drivers is also in the process.
Although scooters are still allowed inside school campuses and the majority of the rural areas, the strict implementation of the new policy will focus only on busy urban areas especially the Copenhagen busy streets.
Sales of ride-sharing companies like Lime are expected to drop but they are optimistic that the government could come up with a long-term solution soon that is beneficial and safer to all.