The Maltese Government has put forward a law which aims to regulate the use of electric scooters.
The number of electric scooters on Maltese roads has been steadily increasing in recent months, however, their use was not specifically covered by any specific regulation. The proposal comes after a surge of reports of accidents linked with e-scooters resulted in calls for tighter regulations.
Under the proposed new rules, riders must be 18, hold a driving license and be insured, both if the scooter is owned individually or part of sharing scheme. A one-time registration fee for scooters will also be required, set at €11.65, along with an annual license fee of €25.
Other provisions include the equipment of headlights and taillights, a 10km/h speed limit in pedestrian areas and 20km/h on other roads. Moreover, scooters will not be permitted under tunnels, underpasses or arterial roads and may only be used on roads designated as cycle routes.
“As a country with so many mobility challenges due to the limited space, as well as limited alternatives, we cannot afford to ban innovative means of transport, that are also cheaper and pollute less,” Maltese Transport Minister Ian Borg told Malta Today. According to Borg, new rules were needed to make streets safer and discourage the abuse of e-scooters.
Other countries across Europe have proposed regulations or published guidelines for local authorities. In Germany, the regulations dictate that e-scooters are not allowed to go faster than 20km/h and are not allowed on pavements. In Sweden, e-scooters must have brakes and a bell, and drivers younger than 15 are required to wear a helmet. In Spain, the national traffic authority set a speed limit of 25 km/h and also mandating that e-scooters must be insured.
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