E-Scooters and Polish Regulation

John Brighenti // CC

For some time now in Poland, we feel a craze for electric scooters. Interest and the demand is raising constantly. These vehicles that help avoid traffic in big citie are nowadays one of the best means of transport in the city. Unfortunately, not all Poles like this frenzy, so some users fall victim to aggression from pedestrians, with scooters from sharing companies being destroyed.

One of the main reasons for criticism is that e-scooters are often left behind in the places not intended for storing them. Even though in Poland, no rules in this regard have been set yet, the vehicles should never hinder the pedestrians walking on the sidewalk.

Another problem is the lack of regulation on scooters. Indeed, there is a bill in the works (but still, a rather defective one), but it does not promise to be implemented quickly.

The solution to the first problem would be to use the same method as in Moscow: scooters could be left either in dedicated stations or on the sidewalk, but in the latter case for an additional fee.

As far as the aggression of pedestrians is concerned, the media are here part of the problem. They typically offer reports featuring statements made by elderly people upset by the users of scooter sharing platforms. However, average people often do not differentiate between a scooter sharing user and a private owner. As such, the criticism aimed at the later is often used to portey the former.

As for the regulations, it would suffice to introduce mandatory third party liability for scooter users (both private and rental).

Moreover, the possibility to drive scooter on bike lanes should be intoduced, because, currently in Poland, scooters can only use the sidewalks.

The abovementioned proposed bill aimed at regulating e-scooters also mentions the speed limit of 25km/h, which is rather low. Instead, it should be set at 30km/h, thus similarly to the speed allowance for bikes.

Finally, the bill also proposes banning the option of two people using one scooter. Meanwhile, in Poland, it is very popular to add a lower steering wheel for a child. In this manner, some parents take drive children to school and kindergarten, avoiding traffic.

I wish politicians would finally start to listen to private scooter owners, as their say may help introduce sensible regulation of a device that otherwise has a bright future.

Bartlomiej Chmiel