In a recent meeting between the federal minister of mobility Georges Gilkinet, Brussels minister Elke Van den Brandt, Flemish minister Lydia Peeters and Walloon minister Valérie De Bue, the problem of micro mobility transport alternatives, especially electronic scooters, was discussed.
We’re seeing many new forms of mobility in our streets, like e-scooters. Unfortunately, we’re also seeing them already in accident statistics. The need for clear and uniform traffic regulations was therefore pressing.Lydia Peeters, Flemish minister of mobility and public works
Over the past few years, with the surge in options of alternative ways of transport, the number of users of micro mobility vehicles, like electronic scooters, monowheels, hoverboards and Segways, has greatly increased. However, the ministers stress this increase is also noticeable in the number of accidents.
According to statistics from Vias, the Belgian road safety institute, in 2020, there were around 400 accidents involving an e-scooter in the Brussels capital region, resulting in two deaths. By 2021, the number of accidents increased to 1,000. Thus, the mobility ministers decided there is a need for the vehicles to be better regulated to ensure the safety of all traffic participants.
Statistics show that just last year children under 16 were related to 1 in 7 accidents involving an e-scooter, from which 130 people were injured. Therefore, the driving of motorised vehicles will be forbidden for people under 16.
Only from the age of 16 does someone have sufficient knowledge of traffic rules. It is too dangerous to let children ride on roads on unstable vehicles that reach 25 km/h.Lydia Peeters, Flemish minister of mobility and public works
Thus far, people driving e-scooters have been allowed to go on pavements, providing they respected a walking speed. However, the ministers stress that this rule has been hard to implement and it is much easier to enforce a total ban. In pedestrian areas, signs will be placed to indicate whether the use of e-scooters is allowed or not. While people with reduced mobility using a mobility scooter are exempt from the rule, the people in violation of it will be faced with a €58 fine, collectable on the spot.
Furthermore, special parking areas will be created to avoid the abandonment of scooters on the pavement. Until now, scooters have been allowed to pe parked on pavements, as long as they did not obstruct pedestrians. But because inconveniences have frequently occurred as a result of badly parked scooters, users will no longer be allowed to park on pavements. Not respecting the parking zones will result in a €116 fine.
Lastly, it will be forbidden for two people to ride the same scooter. Although this rule was already mentioned in the terms and conditions of the various renting apps, it has rarely been followed. Consequently, it will be prohibited by law to carry a passenger on an e-scooter and people in breach of it will be fined €58, also collectable on the spot.
All the rules are expected to be fully enforced by summer.