Over the last year, a number of e-mobility startups have dropped thousands of the scooters on the pavements of some of Sweden's biggest cities, encouraging people to borrow them via their apps.
But their popularity has not come without side effects. Complaints have been raised about toppled-over electric scooters strewn across pavements, and an increase in accidents as their use has grown.
So far this year, 241 accidents involving electric scooters have been reported (compared to 21 last year when they were far less common). Most of them are minor injuries, but in May a 27-year-old man died in Helsingborg in southern Sweden after colliding with a car while riding an e-scooter late at night.
Sweden's minister for infrastructure now wants to crack down on the fast-growing trend.
“We have seen a rapid expansion of electric scooters and they have created a mess,” Tomas Eneroth told the TT newswire, and said that a probe into possible rule changes is under way at the Transport Agency.
Electric scooters are currently classified as bicycles. This means that it is not in itself illegal to ride them while under the influence of alcohol, without a helmet, or on paths shared by pedestrians and bicycles.
It is also not currently possible to impose parking rules on them without also affecting bicycles.
“Electric scooters have both pros and cons. For that exact reason we have to know what the consequences of regulations and various law proposals would be. These should be changes that create safety and order,” added the minister, who did not have a time plan for when such regulations could be introduced.
electric scooter – (en) elsparkcykel
bicycle – (en) cykel
mess – (en) oreda
accident – (en) olycka
pros and cons – fördelar och nackdelar
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