Plans to Tighten Rules for E-Scooter Skip to content
Hopp scooters in front of Mount Esja in Reykjavík
Photo: Photo: Hopp Reykjavík. Scooters in front of Reykjavík’s Mount Esja..

Plans to Tighten Rules for E-Scooter

Riders of e-scooters could soon be subjected to age restrictions, speed limits, and sobriety tests. Minister of Infrastructure Svandís Svavarsdóttir has submitted a bill to Alþingi, Iceland’s Parliament, that would severely tighten the rules on such vehicles if it becomes law, RÚV reports.

Injuries common

E-scooters have become commonplace in Iceland in recent years and have grown in popularity on scooter-sharing apps in urban areas. The bill would subject such vehicles to a 30 kilometre per hour speed limit. It would also become punishable to ride an e-scooter when inebriated. Over 40% of serious traffic injuries in 2o21 were sustained by pedestrians, cyclists, and rider of e-scooters late at night on Friday and Saturday nights when intoxication is prevalent, the bill states.

Furthermore, children were 45% of those seeking emergency treatment after e-scooter accidents in 2021, and a third of them were under 10 years old. “People are worried about these micro-mobility vehicles and we want to create the framework where people can use this mode of transportation in a safe way, because the accident rate is too high and is only climbing higher,” said Ingibjörg Isaksen, member of parliament for the Progressive Party.

Bill criticised

The bill would introduce a ban on children under 13 years old using e-scooters. The bill does not address the problem of shared scooters cluttering sidewalks and cycling lanes. “Municipalities can address this by making agreements with the scooter-sharing companies about their use in certain spaces and designate the areas where they are permitted,” Ingibjörg added.

In Alþingi’s consultation process with the public, the bill has been criticised for being excessive. The importance of education on the dangers of e-scooters has been stressed, along with the argument that square curbs, cracked sidewalks, and other surface issues could be the cause of many accidents, rather than user error.

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