- Hans Weber
- October 3, 2022
Shared electric scooters are getting in the way of Prague residents on the sidewalk and falling off onto cars
Speeding on the sidewalk, scattered scooters, and damage caused to city residents. These are also the experiences of Prague residents with shared electric scooters. The Pirates want to address these problems with an amendment to the Road Act.
“Unfortunately, our experience with shared scooters has not been excellent. In the historic center, users often ride on the pavements, endanger pedestrians with their reckless driving and often block the pavement or lane with their inappropriate parking,” Jaromír Beránek (Pirates), chair of the Prague City Council’s IT and Smart City Committee, said.
Insurance is only online, and communication is only in French
Electric scooters complicate people’s daily lives—they get in the way of the blind, wheelchair users, or parents with prams—and they also cause considerable damage.
The e-scooter damaged his car when it was incorrectly parked—it had the kickstand stuck—and fell on his car. Or someone dropped it on the vehicle. The damage was estimated at around 20,000 crowns.
When he tried to contact Lime about a possible insurance policy, the company first communicated with him in French, only to refer him to Allianz, an insurance company based in the Netherlands.
The municipality complains that they are not fulfilling their promises.
When asked how Prague is approaching the issue, Vít Hofman, a spokesman for the city council, replied that it has issued a methodology for city districts on how to mark scooter parking spaces so that they are unified and easily recognizable by the public.
Approval of parking spaces is usually the responsibility of individual districts.
“(Operators) don’t have control over the drop-off of scooters by their users, which is what creates the most problems. This is also why shared scooters are not supported in the Prague city area,” Hofman said.
“The operators are simply failing to deliver on their promises to make their service run smoothly, and one can only guess whether it’s because they don’t have the will to enforce their promises vigorously or because they really can’t,” he added.
The solution? Give cities more authority.
The Pirates, who have a mayor in the capital, have therefore turned to the transport ministry with an amendment to the Roads Act. Among other things, the amendment would extend the powers of cities to regulate the operation of electric scooters and tighten penalties for operators.
According to him, there is also the possibility of setting the maximum speed of a scooter not to exceed 15 or 10 kilometers per hour. The system can also be set so that scooters cannot be driven on pavements but only in dedicated lanes. Prague (and other cities) could mandate all this under the amendment.
“Some operators are willing to work it out with the city, but unfortunately, there are also those who are not. Without the city having the real power to order something, we will not move forward,” said Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates).