E-scooter safety: Transport minister calls for tougher action by cities and municipalities

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E-scooters have now been registered in Germany for a few weeks. While private e-scooters are still the exception, probably due to the poor availability of approved models in Germany, cities are filling up more and more with e-scooters for rent. As is the case with new things, media interest is high, especially if the approval also falls into the summer slump. Every little accident with an electric scooter is reported to be dangerous.

Sure, no open vehicle that is moved on the road and carries the passenger at 20 km/h is safe. No helmet requirement, no driving licence requirement and the low minimum age of 14 years – these are factors that clearly show that things cannot go as smoothly as they might seem.

According to media reports, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer is now calling on cities and municipalities to take tougher action to prevent accidents. According to this, the possibilities of the Small Electric Vehicle Ordinance should be fully exploited in order to achieve “safe and proper use” of electric scooters. This means, for example, starting for the transport of several persons on the running board or driving in non-approved areas, such as sidewalks or pedestrian zones.

But even when driving an electric scooter under the influence of alcohol, the same rules apply as for other vehicles.

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Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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