“Are electric scooters dangerous?” is one the most googled questions when it comes to e-scooters today. And well… we get it. E-scooters appeared kind of out of nowhere and local legislations all over the world were faced with a new set of traffic challenges basically overnight. I’m sure we’ve all witnessed a couple of hooligans on the road too, which makes it easy to fear the unknown. But are e-scooter really that dangerous?
The answer is no. And we have the data to prove it.
In the example of Estonia, the home country of Äike, we believe the governments have done quite well so far in regulating our novel modes of transport in a reasonable way.
However, we are actually now coming to the point of over-regulations.
Kristjan Maruste, the Founder of Äike, said in a recent interview:
“When you bring new technology to the market, you have to oppose the regulation right away. Electric scooters have been available for hire (in Tallinn) for three summers and so far no business has been put on the back foot. We should praise both the state and the city.”
However, last week the National Assembly of Estonia debated a draft law that would limit the speed of electric scooters on city pavements to 10 kilometres per hour. According to Maruste, this is a good example of bad lawmaking, and if such a plan were to come to fruition, it would be a good idea to push back.
Statistically the safest
Road accident statistics from the Public Road Administration of Estonia with the data from the Police and Border Guard Board database shows that for 2021, riding an electric scooter was by far the safest way to get around a city. In fact, e-scooters were the only vehicles with 0 deaths for the entire year. Maruste assumes that with all free-floating and personal electric scooters taken into consideration around 300 000 users are on the streets of Estonia – making this an incredible victory for the e-scooter community.
However, we are not at the end of the tunnel.
Specifically, last Tuesday, the parliament debated a draft amendment to the traffic law that would limit the speed of light vehicles and mini-mopeds on foot and footpaths to 10 km/h. The bill would limit the speed of light vehicles and mini-mopeds to 10 km/h. However, the current limit of 25 km/h would remain in force on the edge of car lanes.
However, Mr Maruste described such a plan as populist. “This is a good example of bad lawmaking, where you try to create a rule but nobody can follow it,” he explained. According to the entrepreneur, electric scooters – which make up the majority of light urban cyclists – and are now proven to be the safest, should be praised instead of demonized.
“Obviously, with that many runs, something is going to happen,” Maruste admitted. “Unless somebody is seriously injured or killed, it’s still a fantastically well-managed vehicle,” he said. According to Äike’s manager, the road administration’s statistics are driven by the rash of single-injury accidents in which careless scooter riders injure themselves.
In other words – the data has spoken! Now it is time for us, the e-scooter community, to behave responsibly on the roads to keep battling any negative lobby and continue the work to make micromobility the premier mode of transport in our cities.