In Belgium, electric scooters are increasingly becoming an emerging means of transportation. The latest data shows that in the capital Brussels, there are already more than 18,000 shared electric scooters. The use of electric scooters not only provides convenience for people, but also brings new challenges to traffic safety. Belgium has recently issued a number of regulations to strengthen the supervision of electric scooters.
According to the new regulations recently issued by the Belgian government, from July 1, users of equipment such as electric scooters in Belgium must be at least 16 years old, and it is forbidden to ride in certain areas such as some sidewalks and prohibit the use of electric scooters to carry people. In the Brussels region, where e-scooters are used intensively, it is also required to park them in designated areas and set maximum speed limits on special sections such as semi-pedestrian zones. Local media reported that the new regulations are to a large extent to treat electric scooters as bicycles, and the use of electric scooters is restricted and regulated to ensure traffic safety, in order to promote the orderly development of this emerging mobility tool market.
Electric scooters are very popular in Belgium, especially among young people. Local users use the online map to search for directions, and electric scooters appear as separate recommendations. In Cities such as Brussels and Ghent, many people believe that the use of electric scooters saves time and effort, and stops as you go, especially during peak travel hours, electric scooters use bicycle lanes or sidewalks to avoid congested road conditions in motorized lanes, so they are favored.
Electric scooters have the characteristics of faster movement speed, and users generally have not received special safety training, and there are certain safety hazards. The reporter has seen many times that some young people on the street ride on an electric scooter, and some riders also play with each other, and there are certain traffic hazards. According to statistics from the Belgian Federal Police, there were 533 injuries involving electric scooters in the Flanders region alone in 2021, an average of about 10 per week. In addition, shared electric scooters are placed everywhere, which is not conducive to equipment maintenance and also affects the image of the city.
Brussels transport committee member Balte Donte said that the increase in the number of electric scooters and irregular use has caused inconvenience to other pedestrians, and the new regulations have made regulations, requiring that the speed of electric scooters in pedestrian areas should not exceed 8 kilometers per hour to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
The new regulations also limit the number of equipment put by shared electric scooter operators and set up special parking areas to reduce random parking. Electric scooter operators are also considering more requirements for users, such as not allowing electric scooters to drive side by side, not blocking roads, and encouraging the wearing of safety helmets. In order to avoid “drunk driving”, usabiking electric scooter company Bolt has asked users in the Brussels region to scan the code to use the car from 19:00 to 5:00 a.m. the next day, they must pass a “rapid cognitive test” on their mobile phones to ensure that users are in a good mental state.
Chris Pittles, a transportation expert at PXL University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Belgium, believes that the emergence of electric scooters as a generation of mobility tools has enriched people’s travel methods, and the number of uses is expected to continue to increase in the future. However, the electric scooter steering wheel is narrow, the wheels are small, the speed is fast, and the accident rate of some models is high, and in the future, the regulatory authorities and operators need to cooperate with the introduction of specific and feasible rules, continue to improve the relevant supervision, and achieve a balance between the promotion of electric scooters and safety specifications.
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