The new act addresses the use of electric scooters in Latvia
A year after rental apps fueled a boom in scooters in Riga, a bill regulating electric scooters is nearing completion, Transport Ministry representative Annija Novikova said On April 18.
Like cars, bicycles and pedestrians, electric scooters are used both for recreational purposes and as a means of transportation, and thus have acquired the full rights of the participants in the traffic.However, their sudden widespread use, and the lack of regulations about how and where to drive fast, has led to disagreements and discussions about how to coexist with other traffic participants.The debate even begins with the definition process.
"It is a transportation device with an electric motor and its top speed is not more than 25 km/h.This definition is a compromise between the parties."Novikova said.
Maximum speed scooters can be used in traffic as long as they are readjusted to the maximum specified in the regulations so as not to endanger cyclists or pedestrians.Juris Zvirbulis, President of the Latvian Automobile Association LAMB, says the lack of e-bike infrastructure is another problem for electric scooters.
"Unfortunately, we know that The cycling infrastructure in Latvia is still in its infancy.Only separate parts were developed, and they were not connected as a unified system.So it was decided that electric scooters could be used on roads and sidewalks."Zvirbulis said.
A representative of the state police, JurisJan evskis, says that electric scooters are controlled in the same way as other traffic participants."A total of nine accidents involving electric scooters have been registered this year.In fact, three of the drivers were injured."Yanchevsky said.There were no accidents this time last year, probably because of the colder winters and therefore less scooter activity.
"Electric scooter drivers will not only be controlled, but they will be held accountable for what they do, and they will be held accountable for non-compliance or non-compliance with road traffic laws," Yanchevsky said.
The bill also says people can legally drive electric scooters from the age of 14 and can only drive one person at a time.Discussions on reflective components and the use of driver helmets are ongoing.Neither the government nor parliament has yet approved the bill, but it is hoped it will be submitted to the cabinet by the end of this month or May.
As previously reported, electric scooter drivers are increasingly involved in accident statistics.In 10 months last year, state police recorded 53 accidents involving electric scooters, 35 of which were injured and two killed.It is estimated that about 1,500 electric scooters are used in Riga and the use of scooters is not regulated by current law.