As E-Scooters seem to become ever more popular in Malta and private companies are even offering locals and tourists the opportunity to hire these transportation devices by the minute, the Government seems intent to release a set of guidelines and presumably the possibility of requiring license and insurance to operate such devices will be included in the law set to be released soon.
However, social media commentators are stating that these devices’ top speed usually goes up to a maximum of 25 km/h and they weigh less than 12 kilograms, thus an impact with such a device would probably cause much less damage than with a bicycle which would usually weight 3 times as much and could sometimes reach top speeds of more than double the e-scooters maximum velocity.
The question begs itself an answer, said one commentator, why are Cyclists allowed to drive on the road with no form of insurance, whilst E-Scooter owners, who have forked out up to 400 euro during the past months are suddenly going to be burdened with insurance and license yearly costs.
“Why can’t we just share cycle lanes on the road?, after all cyclists expect car drivers to share the road with them, so why not share their lane with us as well? Lead by example” said one other commentator who seemed angry that people using bicycles are being given a red-carpet treatment whilst e-scooter riders are being asked to go through the burden of having to apply for a license and possibly to endure some sort of test and having to fork out money for insurance as well. “After all e-scooters will minimize the use of cars on the road, isn’t that what the Government wants after all?” continued this same commentator.
The Times of Malta has reported that the regulations have been published for a 20-day public consultation period, have been announced as e-scooters are becoming an increasingly popular means of transportation.
The same website has previously reported that insurers are concerned that the low-cost scooters are currently in a legal grey area.
The document states that E-Scooters cannot be used on major arterial roads and new traffic signs will be installed, whilst anyone caught using the e-scooters on arterial roads will be fined €200, also these e-scooters will not be permitted under tunnels or underpasses and the fine will in this case go up to €500.
However, they will be allowed on all urban streets although e-scooter riders will still be expected to follow all relevant traffic signs and regulations