The fit of electric scooters in the urban fabric continues to constitute a conflict amongst pedestrian and road users, with the increasing presence of this Personal Mobility Vehicle (VMP) on our streets generating a crisis of coexistence.
By means of a transitory instruction published by the DGT in December 2019, there is already a series of criteria aimed at users of electric scooters, town councils and other authorities, intended to set the standards by which these vehicles may be used within the current traffic regulations.
On the Orihuela Costa these vehicle can be seen on our roads, our bicycle lanes and on our pavements in increasing numbers.
From the numbers that are currently circulating it would appear that the Orihuela City Council has granted permission to selected companies to rent such vehicles out, even though it has not developed or published the necessary traffic ordinance to ensure that they can be used safely, thereby minimising risks in both road and pedestrian safety.
At the moment many users are totally oblivious to the guidelines and would not seem to know whether they can travel on pavements, whether they can share bicycle lanes, the maximum speed at which they may travel, how many people may travel on each scooter, what license and insurance documentation should be held, and whether safety helmets or clothing must be worn.
These are just some of the issues that need to be considered in the Municipal Ordinance.
Last December the Orihuela PSOE Group presented a motion for the modification of the regulations at the plenary session. However, although the measures were approved, the Ordinance has still not been amended, and that is why we are now seeing these vehicles presenting a mounting danger on our streets and pavements.
Riders, in many cases, don’t hold any form of license, they are completely untrained in the use of the road, and many more are unaware of road and traffic signs.
In the guidelines issued by DGT last year scooters may not be used on pavements or in pedestrian areas, they are only authorised to transport a single person on each vehicle, and users must also wear a helmet, but they are purely guidelines and often ignored, so until the Orihuela Council completes and issues its own municipal ordinance they will continue to be a public danger to pedestrians and to traffic on our pavements and on our roads.
And as it is unclear as to whether the police can apply sanctions, or must wait for the ordinance to be approved, the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon.