Moscow introduces radical e-scooter laws
Moscow authorities have announced a clampdown on e-scooters being left in inappropriate places across the Russian capital. The devices, as well as bicycles, will from now on be impounded if they’re irresponsibly parked.
In March, Moscow City Council said that the number of rentable e-scooters in the capital has multiplied by a factor of 13 since 2018 and was expected to reach 60,000 units soon.
According to data from Russia’s Ministry of the Interior, there were almost 500 accidents involving the devices in the country in the first quarter of 2023 alone.
“Scattered rental and personal e-scooters and bicycles interfere with other road users and pedestrians. They create a risk of injuries and accidents, and reduce the capacity of roads and sidewalks,” Moscow’s Department of Transportation said in a statement on Tuesday.
The agency announced that from now on it would use “simple and effective means” to tackle the problem. Any transportation devices abandoned at random will be removed from the streets, it said.
The owners of scooters and bikes would have to show proof of ownership of an impounded vehicle in order to be able to retrieve it, the statement read. It didn’t say whether offenders would also be required to pay a fine.
E-scooters and bicycles may only be left in dedicated parking areas that are designated in the apps provided by e-scooter and bike rental companies operating in the city, the agency stressed.
In March, amendments to traffic rules came into force in Russia, limiting the speed of e-scooters to 25 kilometers per hour (just over 15mph) and their maximum weight to 35 kilograms.
The fine for a speed violation currently stands at 800 rubles (around $9), but plans have been signalled by Senator Artyom Sheykin to introduce a draft law that would set the maximum penalty at 5,000 rubles (around $53).