They may not be the first, but they may have a nice second place. Rotterdam recently announced that as of 1 January 2020 the electrical sharing scooters will be allowed in its city. In Canberra, on the other side of the world, they are already further in the process.
The municipality of Rotterdam has decided to allow the electric scooters as from next year. However, there is a limit of a thousand scooters. Councillor Bokhove has decided this to prevent nuisance from scooters lying around. At this moment e-scooter sharing services are not allowed. This is because the Department of Road Transport (RDW) still has to give permission for the standard electric scooters on public roads.
Nevertheless, Councilor Bokhove has already had several conversations with possible providers of these scooters. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to agree on something concrete. It will probably take some time before the RDW has approved the scooters, but hopefully there will be more clarity about the scooters in six months’ time.
On the other side of the world, they are already through the approval process. From next Friday, December 20th, Canberra residents will be able to ride their e-scooters legally. The citizens of Canberra turned out to be in need of the electric scooters. That’s why road safety minister Shane Rattenbury has decided to make electric scooters and other similar electric vehicles legal. E-mobility provides new and easy ways to travel. It allows people to leave their car at home. In addition, they are easy to combine with public transport.
However, stricter rules are being drawn up with regard to use. They want to avoid the chaos as much as possible that reigns in other cities where the electric scooters are extremely popular. The e-scooters, together with skateboards, are only allowed on shared paths and on the sidewalk. In contrast to where scooters are allowed everywhere in other cities, both on the sidewalk and on the road. In Canberra, the scooters are not approved for use on public roads. It is therefore forbidden to use them on public roads. With the exception of residential streets where there is no bicycle path.
When riding on footpaths, they must adhere to the rule that they stay on the left side as much as possible to avoid pedestrians. If a pedestrian approaches, they can see you, which makes it safer to drive/walk past each other. To increase safety for pedestrians, the maximum speed of the steps is reduced to 15 km/h on footpaths. In all other areas where they are allowed to drive, the maximum speed is 25 km/h.
The riders of the scooters are also obliged to wear an approved helmet. The scooter must have a warning device, such as a bell, front and rear lights and reflectors. It is also forbidden for drivers to use a mobile phone and to ride under the influence.
Canberra’s legislation follows in the footsteps of Queensland, which is the only other state in Australia to allow e-scooters on footpaths and cycle paths with a maximum speed above 10km/h.