German Transport Minister to ban e-scooters

May 08, 2019

German Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) has said he will not permit electric scooters to be ridden on sidewalks, the German news agency (dpa) reported on Tuesday.

In a concession to widespread safety concerns about the use of virtually silent e-scooters on sidewalks, and to ensure e-scooter legislation is not delayed, Scheuer said that he was now “removing’’ the use of e-scooters on sidewalks from the bill.

“My point is to make new forms of locomotion possible in such a way that they do not endanger anyone,’’ Scheuer said.

The federal government had earlier proposed that e-scooters that move faster than 12 kilometres per hour should be allowed to ride on cycle paths and the slower ones on sidewalks.

“Whether young or old, citizens should feel safe on the roads. It is important to get a regulation now quickly,’’ the minister said.

A majority on a transport committee of the Bundestrat, upper house of parliament, had recommended that all e-scooters be permitted only on cycle paths.

The difficulty of administering two sets of rules for two different types of e-scooter was also cited as a concern.

The Federal Council is due to vote on the matter on May 17.

Green Party politicians and cycling associations have criticised the decision, arguing that existing cycle lanes are not wide enough to accommodate fast-moving e-scooters safely.

The age at which Germans can use e-scooters is yet to be determined.

Federal Council committees have suggested 15 years of age as the threshold, while Scheuer has proposed 12 years.

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