18 January 2021
GFIA has today published a paper on the need for new rules for e-scooters.
With increasing traffic congestion in many jurisdictions, people are turning to other modes of transportation. E-scooters have become one of the fastest growing urban mobility trends. Despite their many benefits, the growing popularity of e-scooter use has contributed to more collisions. It is also not clear which insurance policy covers accidents in certain situations.
At the same time, regulatory requirements for e-scooters vary internationally. Some jurisdictions have national-level legislation, while others have state laws. These requirements outline what roads e-scooters can operate on, speeds they are limited to, minimum age restrictions for riders, and insurance requirements. No jurisdiction requires all e-scooter riders to wear a helmet.
GFIA therefore recommends the following:
· E-scooter speed should not surpass 25km/h and municipalities should enforce which roads they are permitted on (ie maximum speed limit);
· Municipalities that promote micromobility should strive to improve transportation infrastructure, including cycle paths, to encourage different modes of transportation to coexist safely in public spaces, with minimal, if any, interaction with pedestrians;
· To protect pedestrians from collisions with e-scooters, e-scooters should be prohibited from sidewalks and enforcement agencies should be resourced to ensure compliance;
· To ensure appropriate and safe rider behaviour, e-scooter riders should be at least 16 years of age;
· To protect the rider from head trauma, helmets should be required for all e-scooter riders regardless of age and experience level;
· Liability insurance should not be mandatory for e-scooters; however, if a jurisdiction insists on insurance requirements, they should be proportionate to the risk that e-scooters represent in the respective jurisdiction; and
· E-scooter sharing companies should take necessary measures to ensure the safety of e-scooter riders, including purchasing comprehensive liability insurance in preparation for any bodily injury and/or property damages against a third party.