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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 01.06.2020, 11:35

Survey: Electric transport vehicles deemed dangerous by residents of Baltic states

BC, Tallinn, 20.09.2019.Print version
Two thirds of Estonia's residents regard electrical transport vehicles a danger to pedestrians and road safety more broadly, it appears from a recent study carried out by insurer Ergo and Latvian pollster SKDS.

Electric scooters, which had already spread like wildfire in the rest of the world, were also made available to residents of Estonian cities Tallinn and Parnu this summer. The more electric and self-balancing scooters are used, the more becomes relevant the issue of their safe incorporation into  traffic.

"Even though electric scooters help reduce congestion on motorways, they can cause dangerous situations on the sidewalk," Caterina Lepvalts, Ergos' head of claims, said, adding that pedestrians are concerned about their safety as electric transport vehicles thread rapidly in and out of traffic between the motorway and the sidewalk, while parked scooters, too hinder pedestrian traffic.

Altogether 67% of the respondents to the survey in Estonia deemed electric and self-balancing scooters a danger to pedestrians and road safety, the respective figures in Latvia and Lithuania stood at 73% and 85%.

Statistics by the police and insurers, however, does not corroborate the perceived danger posed by electric transport vehicles, Lepvalts said. At the same time, however, electric scooter drivers are presently considered to be pedestrians from a legal perspective, which means that a collision of a scooter driver and a pedestrian is not regarded as a traffic accident, she noted. As the collisions do not ordinarily result in notable material damage, they tend to get solved on the spot without being registered.

While driving an electric scooter is presently not regulated in Estonia by the Traffic Act, next year may bring some changes in this regard as the issue is currently being deliberated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Lepvalts noted that electric scooters will likely be regulated the same way as self-balancing scooters, which can be driven both on the sidewalk and on cycle paths. She noted that whichever vehicle is used, it must not endanger other road users.

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