Belgian Chamber Committee approves traffic bill for e-scooters

The Belgian Chamber Committee for Mobility has given the green light for a bill regulating the use of e-scooters in traffic. The new law will provide an age limit of 16, and in the future, e-scooters will be banned from footways. The bill still needs to be approved by the plenary chamber.

The e-scooters have become a common sight in traffic for a while, but their growing popularity went hand in hand with an increased number of serious accidents. According to the most recent traffic safety barometer, more and more people get involved in e-scooter accidents. In 2019, only 50 cases were registered but in 2021, the number already went up to 1 022.

Clear regulation

Until now, there were no specific traffic rules for e-scooters. With the actual bill, there will be a clear regulation for e-scooters to guarantee traffic safety and avoid accidents with injuries. “This way, the e-scooters can safely and fully integrate as a sustainable means of transport in traffic,” explained MP Joris Vandenbroucke (Vooruit), initiator of the bill.

E-scooters will be forbidden on public roads for minors under the age of 16. Those who are 16 or older have to ride on the bikeway, just like in many other European cities. The vehicle may only be used by one person and is not allowed on footways.

Lights and brakes

In the meantime, the mobility ministers agreed on additional aspects like the introduction of reliable lights and brakes, and particular parking instructions for shared e-bikes and e-scooters.

However, a helmet will not be mandatory. “We recommend it, but we don’t want to impose it,” Flemish Minister for Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) earlier told the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. “We want to push people to alternative transport, and a helmet will probably discourage them.”

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