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Tougher legislation governing use of electric scooters on the way

13:53 25/10/2021
Some Brussels municipalities will implement drop-off zones, and there will be a speed limit in the pedestrian zone

The Brussels parliament has proposed new measures regarding the use of electric scooters. The tougher legislation, which will be put to a vote early next year, will apply to scooter share schemes such as Lime and Bird.

To escape the current situation with scooters being dropped off any old place on the pavement or street, the government wants to establish parking zones. These will be places where scooters can be picked up and dropped off.

Each of Brussels’ 19 municipalities would be allowed to decide if they want parking zones for scooters or not. If a certain municipality is not experiencing much trouble with scattered scooters, for instance, it can opt to keep things the way they are.

Other municipalities can establish parking zones in collaboration with the scooter share schemes. MP Arnaud Verstraete (Groen) promises that users will never have to walk more than 150 metres to find a scooter.

Speed limit in ped zone

“By choosing locations wisely, we can improve safety in certain spots,” he said. “Much like the new arrangement to put bike racks in parking spaces that are too close to zebra crossings, we can be smart about where the drop-zones will be designated.”

The metre will keep running on scooters left outside of a drop zone in a municipality that has them. The new rules also require firms running scooter shares to pick up stray scooters within a certain period of time. If they do not, they will be fined – a fine that can be passed on to the user.

Verstraete says that the drop zones will also be useful for those wanting to pick up a scooter since they’ll always know where to find one.

Further legislation solves another problem that has citizens grumbling: There will be speed limit in the pedestrian zone. The limit has not yet been established, but “according to the most common interpretation of the highway code, walking speed equals no more than six kilometres an hour,” says Verstraete. “But I think if it’s bit higher, no one is going to make a fuss. The idea is that users can’t ride unreasonably fast in the pedestrian zone. If they want to ride at full speed, they can use the parallel streets.”

Don’t think this will only apply if cops are around to catch you: The scooters will be programmed to recognised the borders of the pedestrian zone, and the speed will adjust automatically.

The proposed legislation has been drawn up in response to different municipalities wanting to apply their own rules to the use of e-scooters. “This will prevent a cacophony of different rules that no one would be able to figure out,” says Verstraete.

Parliament is expected to vote on the new measures in early 2022. If approved, the new rules will be implemented in the first half of next year.

Photo ©Philippe Francois/BELGA

 

Written by Lisa Bradshaw

Comments

yttap

About time that there were clear rules about the use of scooters, their speed, and where they are left. This legislation does not take account of privately owned scooters. There is no legislation on whether helmets should be worn or on limiting the number of people using the same scooter. I have even seen three teenagers enjoying a ride on the same scooter! Young people need to be protected from themselves.

Oct 26, 2021 09:26
cjbbrussels

Are scooter riders allowed to ride on sidewalks?
I was almost hit twice by young (teenage) riders on a sidewalk.
Not good.

Scooters are a good idea if they are used properly.

Oct 26, 2021 10:05