To improve the safety of electric scooters in german cities, municipalities and rental companies are also lobbying for new technical aids.
To protect pedestrians, the speed of e-scooters should be automatically reduced in prohibited traffic areas, the german association of cities and towns and the german association of municipalities announced on monday.
This will make it easier to avoid misconduct and serious accidents. The federal ministry of transport is supposed to ensure this application – but so far the function is not part of the general operating permit. A ministry spokesman said in berlin that the federal motor transport authority (KBA) is already examining the issue.
The push for so-called geofencing technology is part of a joint declaration by leading municipal associations and providers that was announced over the weekend. The goal is to increase safety, especially for sensitive pedestrian areas. This is a software feature that can automatically reduce the speed of e-scooters when they are driven into certain areas. This includes, for example, pedestrian zones, which are off-limits for small hazards, such as sidewalks. The areas are marked via the global satellite navigation system GPS.
This has not yet been the subject of the application for a general operating permit, the ministry spokesman said. Functions and operation have been tested by KBA. A permit for the model is a prerequisite for e-scooters to be allowed on the road – so far, the KBA has issued 14 permits. E-scooters have been generally allowed on the roads since mid-june.
The federal ministry buried the joint approach of cities and providers to achieve more safety and order in the use of the new vehicles. It would be good to work out concrete solutions locally and to give the suppliers clearer guidelines. In july, department head andreas scheuer (CSU) had already called on the cities to take a tougher stance. As announced, a discussion with municipal representatives is also planned, the spokesman said.
The background to this is the increasing number of problems that have arisen since more and more e-scooters are being used in cities – for example, crisscrossing hazards on castle sidewalks, accidents, drunk drivers or several people riding an e-scooter at the same time.
The german automobile club (ADAC) welcomed the joint approach of municipalities and rental providers: "in order to maintain safety and order in road traffic, it is necessary to react promptly to undesirable developments, even if this means losing some of the flexibility that makes electric scooters so attractive." Additional parking spaces for the danger should not be implemented at the expense of the already scarce parking space for cars if possible.
The framework agreement between the top municipal associations and the bidders should serve as a "basis for discussion" for coordination between individual municipalities and bidders, it was said. In order for e-scooters to integrate well into traffic, users need to be considerate and there need to be clear rules about where scooters are allowed to stand and where not.