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Road safety institute concerned by the number of e-scooter accidents
Road safety institute Vias recorded 1,000 accidents involving electric scooters across Belgium in 2021, with about 400 in the Brussels region alone.
This is a figure that is of major concern for Vias, according to a spokesperson. "This is only the tip of the iceberg since all the people who, for example, fall off an electric scooter do not call the police. It's a worrying trend that we must keep an eye on, and we hope that the legislation will evolve to prohibit the number of people travelling on the same scooter, and set an age limit for use, among other things."
It was the first time that Vias reported the figures and 400 accidents in Brussels alone appears to be a high number. Without minimising the importance of these accidents, a spokesperson for scooter company Pony, which operates in Brussels, wants to put things into perspective. "The number of trips on electric scooters is increasing very sharply."
"If you relate the number of accidents to the number of trips, it gives an average that is actually quite low. There are reports from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on this which show that the rate of accidents on scooters are similar to that of electric bikes. These rarely involve third parties, cause very few injuries and very few deaths," continued the spokesperson.
However, Pony says it is aware of the dangers of this mode of travel and recommends customers wear a helmet. The operator even offers a 20% discount to users who prove - by taking a selfie - that they are wearing a helmet.
Some scooter users claim that the majority of accidents are caused by other road users who don’t respect the traffic laws and that they do not always feel safe on the machines because of this.