Preparations to begin on speed limits – Minister Harakka meets representatives of electric scooter companies
Night-time and local speed limits for electric scooters will enter info force in Helsinki as all three electric scooter operators agreed on ways to promote traffic safety in their meeting with Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka on Wednesday 7 July 2021.
Minister Harakka welcomed the spirit of cooperation and the shared concern about traffic safety. We must take action quickly and not be bogged down by the slow legislative process.
In addition to the representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the meeting was attended by representatives from the scooter rental companies, the Finnish Road Safety Council, the City of Helsinki and the Police.
Traffic rules apply to all road users
Minister Harakka told that he had received a great deal of feedback from citizens who are frightened by electric scooter riders. According to a survey by the Road Safety Council, pedestrians, older people and people with reduced mobility in particular have felt that their safety has been endangered.
“Situations become dangerous when people do not follow traffic rules. In legislation, electric scooters are comparable to bicycles, which cannot be ridden on pavements. By law, it is also obligatory to take into account other road users. It should not be possible to ride electric scooters when drunk, which in turn would reduce the number of accidents,” the Minister says.
Rental companies committed themselves to presenting traffic rules clearly both in their applications and on their websites. Users should understand and accept the rental conditions.
Speed limits at night and in downtown Helsinki
The rental companies Voi, TIER and Lime in Helsinki voluntarily undertook to limit speeds at night throughout the city, and in the city centre also during the day. Joint measures are being prepared under the leadership of the City of Helsinki, but companies have already announced their readiness for restrictions.
Some rental companies are also prepared to completely block the use of electric scooters at night or restrict availability in the most popular restaurant areas.
The City of Helsinki is also preparing measures to organise the parking of electric scooters in such a way that danger to other road users can be avoided.
The police can stop drunken riders
The meeting participants will continue their cooperation in the autumn as part of the wider preparation of the transport safety strategy under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. All rental companies will also take practical steps to reduce and eliminate drunken riding.
“We propose that the police be given authority to stop drunk people from riding bicycles or electric scooters. Moreover, not many people know that, under the Criminal Code of Finland, they will be liable to damage caused to another person. A night-time whim may have harsh consequences,” Minister Harakka concludes.
Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka, requests for interviews: Marjo Jäppinen, Head of Communications, tel. +358 40 080 4730