New rules of riding e-scooters in Kazan — key takeaways

In the absence of federal legislation, the Kazan authorities initiated the creation of a document regulating the activity of e-scooter rental services Whoosh, Urent and GreenBee on the Tatarstan president’s instructions. Mayor Ilsur Metshin told this at Business Monday meeting and named this vehicle as a “new challenge” the city faced with the coming of warm days. New rules include the appearance of restricted speed to 10-15 km/h in many places, a ban on leasing them to children and much more. Meanwhile, Tatarstan is already in the top regions in number of road accidents with this type of transport.

Speed restriction in 60 places

A meeting with representatives of the city’s Executive Committee, the Tatarstan traffic police, Prosecutor’s Office of Kazan and Tatarstan, Office of Internal Affairs of Kazan and managers of rental services last week. At this meeting, the sides approved new rules of renting e-scooters in the city — these rules envisage a considerable restriction on both the speed and other parameters.

“The Executive Committee of Kazan established principles and requirements for e-scooter parking spaces in the city on 16 June, an agreement on cooperation between the sides was signed on 17 June: between Kazan’s Transport Committee and companies that rent e-scooters in the city. The document spells out requirements for e-scooters’ technical state, the restriction of their speed, a categorical ban on being used by children under 16 and people under the influence of alcohol, drugs as well as a number of other requirements,” vice head of the city’s Executive Committee Ildar Shakirov described the final rules.

In particular, the city has 60 sites with a restricted speed to 10-15 km/h, 16 places where e-scooter parking didn’t comply with road rules and Kazan’s beautification rules were removed, the use of e-scooters was imposed a total ban in 9 places of the road network.

Sharing operators themselves have tightened control over users. In June alone, they have fined 488 people for incorrect parking, while they did only 200 in May. 21 lawbreakers’ accounts were blocked. Also, owners of the service are developing indexes to evaluate user’s riding skills and a programme to propagate the culture of e-scooter riding.

New personal vehicle or “new challenge”

Shakirov stressed that they didn’t mean this vehicle that citizens and guests of the city liked so much is withdrawn.

“Nowadays transport with limited mobility, including e-scooters, are a convenient vehicle, it also raises the tourist attractiveness of a city. However, unquestionable road safety of both pedestrians and e-scooter users should be a priority when using this transport. Amid the absence of federal legislation, we will daily continue regulating these processes in dialogue with the operators.”

Mayor Ilsur Metshin said how the Executive Committee learned world experience in regulating e-scooters. It turned out that the problem of the necessity of regulating the use of e-scooters came about everywhere where they appeared as early as four years ago. Moreover, the number of this vehicle brought into our country is four times higher than the number of rented scooters. This means that people purchase them for personal use, and their amount in the streets will only grow.

“It is a case when we should come to a compromise. Some citizens vote for e-scooters, others who got used to seeing our public spaces and pedestrian roads for walks [free of transport] are against this. As experts say, nowadays it isn’t entertainment, this transport is the ‘last mile’ for many... This is why we need rules that will regulate this movement. First of all, those who use them should be urged to be responsible. We are in dialogue with all the sides. Therefore everybody needs rules — both those who use this as business and those who use e-scooters as a personal vehicle,” the mayor concluded.

Tatarstan among leaders of anti-rating

Tatarstan is in the top 5 regions in number of road accidents with e-scooters. According to Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, there were 7 accidents with e-scooters from January to May in the republic. Tatarstan is on the list of “leaders” together with Moscow (24 accidents), Saint Petersburg (22), Krasnodar Krai (12) and Sverdlovsk Oblast (6). This is the data provided by Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.

From January to May, the number of accidents with e-scooters skyrocketed by 195%, to 112. 199 people were injured, another two died in accidents in five months.

Road accidents with e-scooters regularly happen in Tatarstan too, traffic police often report on this. Four violations against people on e-scooters were detected during a raid on 15 June alone. Responding to the public’s discontent, on 29 May, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov tasked agencies with developing rules of using this transport.

Chelny was first

Naberezhnye Chelny was the first to establish rules for e-scooter rental services. On 7 June, the city’s Executive Committee adopted a corresponding regulation. The owner of a rent point is obliged to inform clients about traffic rules as well as the rules of using the rent point and e-scooters.

The rules in particular say that a rental site may not be located near engineering networks, under railways and flyovers, near pedestrian subways. Neither can they be placed within 10 metres from bus stops, in building’s arches, on the grass, in recreation areas, playgrounds, at a distance of 20 metres from houses’ windows, buildings, windows of shopping malls. E-scooters must be equipped with at least one brake, a buzzer, lock, a front lamp and rear reflector. It is prohibited to leave the vehicle outside a rental point.

By Eleonora Rylova

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