On December 20, 2019, we told you in this blog the characteristics of the transitory instruction that the DGT had published intending to control, until the General Regulations of Drivers (RGC), the use of scooters or VMP (Vehicles) of Personal Mobility. This instruction clarifies which vehicles can consider VMP and which cannot, as well as some of the behaviors that, as with other types of vehicles, would be punishable. Thus, if a user who travels using a scooter is positive in drug control and alcohol, circulates using headphones, manipulating your mobile phone, transporting a passenger, or without making use of the corresponding lighting system and reflective garments may also fine.
Since the use of this type of vehicle continues to increase and it seems that for a large part of the population, it turns out to be one of the most comfortable, clean, and efficient means of transport in terms of urban centers. The DGT has shared in its digital magazine the ten measures to be taken into account by policymakers, urban planners, operators, and manufacturers, which included in the report published by the OECD International Transport Forum (ITF). From RO-DES, we think that they are very useful measures and that they favor the safety of the users of the electric scooter, so we have decided to echo them by sharing them in this space.
1) Assign a protected space
It is advisable to create a protected and connected road to facilitate the circulation of these types of vehicles. This network can be implemented by calming traffic or creating specific spaces. It also recommended prohibiting movement on sidewalks and set a speed limit not exceeding 30 km / h.
2) Spaces shared with other motor vehicles
In those cases where VMP users share space with other motorized vehicles, such as cars, the maximum speed for all road users should not exceed 30km / h.
3) low-speed VMP
Low-speed scooters or electric bicycles, to avoid excessive regulation and continue to drive sustainability on urban routes, should be treated as conventional bicycles. In contrast, those vehicles with personal mobility that can operate at a faster speed must regulate equally way as is done with mopeds.
4) Collection of travel and accident data
It is necessary to collect accurate data on accidents arising from the use of these types of vehicles, as well as record data related to journeys or mobility surveys and perform observation at street level. It is also important to harmonize and keep up to date the park of this type of vehicle, where new classes often break out.
5) Improve security thanks to technology
A large number of electric scooters and personal mobility vehicles (VMP) for shared use, have motion sensors and GPS. Thanks to these technologies, it is possible to collect useful data on falls, accidents, and potholes, so mobility authorities and operators must collaborate to facilitate their monitoring and maintenance.
6) Road training for VMP users
It is necessary to train motor vehicle drivers (cars, buses, and trucks) so that they are aware of the space they share with VMP users and the risks that this entails. Besides, learning for the use of personal means of transport such as bicycle or VMP must be integrated from the school. Likewise, all these training programs have to be reviewed and evaluated regularly.
7) Control the consumption of alcohol, drugs, and speed
As with users of other types of vehicles, governments must work to ensure that VMP drivers also comply with current regulations on alcohol and drug use, in addition to respecting the speed limits established for this type of vehicle.
8) Eliminate rental methods for a specific time
Renting by the minute can be an incentive to ignore traffic rules, so operators must ensure that their pricing mechanisms do not encourage users of the electric scooter to take unnecessary risks.
9) Improve the design of the VMP
Manufacturers of electric scooters or other types of VMP must work to improve both stability and grip. Also, the indicator lights would be advisable to be mandatory and that the brake cables were better protected.
10) Reduce the risks related to the maintenance of shared micro-mobility systems
It recommended reducing the use of vans and vans to collect or reposition rental VMPs since they pose an additional risk for the rest of the road users. Also, in those cases in which the use of this type of vehicle is strictly necessary to perform the maintenance of the shared VMP service, a parking space must be assigned in an authorized place that is exclusively for the support vehicles previously mentioned.
Drivers of electric scooters or other VMP are not at greater risk compared to cyclists, so serious or fatal injuries in the event of an accident have similar repercussions. Also, it is important to keep in mind that in 80% of electric scooter accidents with fatalities, cars are also involved. Therefore, governments must establish safety standards that take into account the rapid evolution of VMP.