Iceland Tightens Electric Scooter Regulations Skip to content

Iceland Tightens Electric Scooter Regulations

By Yelena

A person riding an electric scooter by the Reykjavík city centre pond.
Photo: Golli.

Operating an electric scooter while under the influence of alcohol is now a punishable offence in Iceland, RÚV reports. Alþingi, the country’s Parliament, recently passed amendments to the Traffic Law that set the same alcohol consumption limits on e-scooters as on other motorised vehicles. The changes also set age and speed limits on electric scooters.

Electric scooters have proliferated in Iceland over the past five years, particularly since short-term scooter rental companies Hopp and Zolo began operations in Reykjavík in 2019. Infrastructure in the city has been slow to accommodate the environmentally friendly vehicles, and it is not often clear for their users whether they should be on the sidewalk or the road.

Blood alcohol limit same as for motor vehicles

Data from recent years showed that e-scooter accidents spiked on Friday and Saturday nights, when their users were more likely to be under the influence of alcohol. The legal blood alcohol level of those operating electric scooters is now the same as for motor vehicles: 0.5 promille. The legal limit on breathalyser tests is 0.25 promille.

Age and speed limits set

Previously, e-scooters were under the same traffic laws as bicycles, but they now belong to a newly-established category for small motorised vehicles. The amendments include a new age limit for users of electric scooters, which is 13 years of age. Children under 16 are required by law to use helmets when operating electric scooters. The new legislation also prohibits modifying electric scooters or other small motorised vehicles so that their speed can exceed 25 kilometres per hour.

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