Tallinn wants to lower speed limit for electric scooters, make parking safer

  • 2023-03-31
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Representatives of state and municipal authorities met with executives of electric scooter rental companies on Thursday to discuss road safety in the upcoming season.

For Tallinn, the main concerns relate to the excessive speed of electric vehicles and parking in the middle of the sidewalk, which creates traffic hazards and hinders pedestrian movement. For this reason, Tallinn supports an amendment of the Traffic Act that would give local authorities the possibility to impose their own rules, such as speed limits, restrictions on parking and similar on electric scooter rental companies.

Tanel Kiik, deputy mayor of Tallinn in charge of transport, said before the meeting that that it is important for the city to ensure the safety of pedestrians, electric scooter users and all other road users.

"When managing traffic, we must always seek a balance between speed and safety," he said. "The current legal speed limit for a personal light electric vehicle is 25 kilometers per hour, which is almost five times greater than the walking speed of an average pedestrian. At the same time, the number of electric scooter users and related accidents is clearly on the rise, according to police figures. As a result, we are proposing to lower the speed limit to 20 kilometers per hour, and even lower in the Old City and in more congested areas."

Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet also said that the development of scooter services must not be at the expense of pedestrians.

"Scooters parked carelessly on sidewalks are a particular concern for people with reduced mobility, the elderly and parents with pushchairs," said Svet. "The solution would be to ban scooter parking on streets with narrower sidewalks. In certain areas, electric scooters should only be allowed to be parked in specific locations, which will be indicated to the user in the app. This would avoid parking and creating obstacles for pedestrians at junctions, bus stops and other vital locations."