E-scooter of contention: Kazan citizens think, Petersburg citizens reproach
“Measures must be strict”
The introduction of legislative restrictions to ride kick scooters and e-scooters, according to SuperJob’s survey (Realnoe Vremya has it at its disposal) is supported by 52% of Kazan citizens, and the number is higher than across Russia in general (49%).
And on 10 June, head of the Tatarstan president’s press service Liliya Galimova announced that a specific list of measures would be made public in the next days.
“Municipalities are closely addressing this issue now, the task was set in Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny, Almetyevsk — everywhere where this chain actively develops. Certain rules will appear as soon as this season... It will be announced in the next days how this sphere of activity will be regulated, this will happen very soon,” the representative of the Kazan Kremlin claimed at a briefing on 10 June.
She remembered accidents with e-scooters that took place in the past, but restrictions weren’t in mind then. One of the high-profile cases was in August 2020 when a citizen of Innopolis with her one-year-old kid fell from an e-scooter, and the kid had serious head injuries. The story ended just a few days ago, the mother was fined 5,000 rubles.
“This proves once again that the measures that will be taken must be strict,” Galimova noted.
21% of Kazan citizens who were surveyed were against restrictions on e-scooters. In Russia, this number is 23%. The poll was conducted in late May, precisely when tighter control over this type of vehicle started to be discussed in Kazan.
What offers are already made
Chaotic parking is one of the main complaints about e-scooters. It was said that this wasn’t permitted as early as last year. Last April, vice head of Kazan’s Executive Committee Ildar Shakirov paid attention to the fact that uncontrolled rent points of these vehicles could become a cause of accidents. Traffic police almost immediately carried out a raid, during the raid they found e-scooters on pavements. Citizens who left the transport this way might face a fine from 5,000 to 10,000 rubles, officials will have to pay 25,000 rubles, legal entities — 300,000 rubles.
It was said about a partial ban on riding e-scooters in the mass media, but the issue didn’t go further. Soon, on 29 May, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov demanded developing rules to use this transport. An approximate list was announced on 1 June:
- making a list of parking spaces for e-scooters;
- considering the possibility of creating an electronic card with the sites where e-scooters can be ridden;
- replacing existing road signs 4.4.1 Bicycle Road or Lane with 4.5.5. Pedestrian and Bicycle Road with Separate Traffic;
- recommendations for rent services to permit children above 16 years to use e-scooters and ban it for users weighing less than 30kg;
- an offer to reduce the number of e-scooters that can be rented via one account to one;
- an offer to ban traffic from 23.00 to 09.00 on car roads and reduce the maximum speed to 15 km/h at controlled intersections.
It is unclear yet what measures awaited fans of e-scooters. We have to say that rent services are receiving criticism calmly — they have supported the above-mentioned offers and claimed that all technical developments can be introduced shortly. Also, Urent will spend 100 million rubles to train users to ride and park, while Whoosh had already limited the speed in many parts of Kazan before the rules were introduced.
Petersburg vs e-scooters
The most headline-making story with e-scooters is now unfolding in Saint Petersburg. In late May, the Investigative Committee launched a criminal case on services that don’t meet safety requirements because e-scooters had been provided to two young men — one of them hit a local, then both assaulted him. Later, a 4-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl suffered from those riding the e-scooters. As a result, large rent services were checked, while on 9 June it was banned to rent the dangerous e-transport because investigators are seizing it because of that criminal case.
On 9 June, Russia’s Investigative Committee urged the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Transport to quickly develop rules to use e-scooters and said that it was preparing its own proposals. At the same time, the Investigative Committee is offering to consider the problem “holistically”.