The Malta Independent 25 October 2020, Sunday

Preliminary guidelines for micromobility launched pending public consultation

Jeremy Micallef Monday, 2 September 2019, 10:51 Last update: about 2 years ago

Transport Malta launched “Preliminary Abridged Guidelines for the Regulation of the Micromobility Class” on Monday in the hope to temporarily stem the anarchic situation in which the rising use of such modes of transport has found itself in.

The island has seen a spike in alternative modes of transport in recent years, and following the announcement that the taxi industry is to be looked at again in detail due to the rise of online hailing platforms, we are now seeing the Ministry for Transport looking at trying to get ahead of an issue which has not yet surmised in Malta.

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Whilst a number of countries have taken various approaches to tackling this issue, Minister for Transport Ian Borg explained that there were those that chose not to regulate and ended up in complete chaos, and others that did not let them operate at all.

Electric scooters must, at least until the public consultation is completed, must now be registered and licensed at a one-time fee of €11.65, and an annual license of €25  in the form of a road license must also be paid by e-kickscooter owners.

On top of that, only individuals with an eligible driving license (categories A, B and AM) will be able to drive the e-kickscooters – meaning that they must also be over 18 years of age.

A high visibility vest must also be worn at night, from dusk till dawn, and a helmet is also recommended.

Parking of such e-kickscooters will be restricted to identified spaces which TM will start implementing, and a number of fines will also be dished out for those that break any of the aforementioned regulations.

Speaking at the press conference, Borg said that with all the mobility problems we have; with limited space; and with limited alternatives – we cannot ban such an innovative mode of travel.

On the other hand, he did add that there is always a place for rule-breaking and that that is where the authority, Transport Malta, must step in with their enforcement.

“It is a pity, but these could take over areas with flat surfaces and tourist areas and promenades.

“At the same time, we cannot permit those who drive them to not hold a sense of responsibility and have knowledge of the driving laws.

“We hope that the operators, the people that wish to use this service, and those that do not but are using our pavements, give their feedback in the next 20 days and then the authority will make the best decision to put the policy in place as quickly as possible.”

Main Policies Highlighted

1.            All electric e-kickscooters must be registered and licensed with Transport Malta with a one-time registration fee set t €11.65 and an annual license of €25 per year.

2.            Only drivers with n eligible driving license will be able to drive the e-kickscooters (Categories A, B and AM – over 18 years of age only).

3.            All e-kickscooters that will be registered would need to be equipped with a headlamp as well as a tail lamp.

4.            The maximum speed allowed to be used is set at 10km/hr in the case of promenades and pedestrian zones and 20km/hr on other roads.

5.            A high visibility vest is to be used at night (from dusk with dawn) and this shall be a mandatory requirement.

6.            The use of helmets is recommended.

7.            Driving through certain arterial or distributor roads, tunnels or underpasses is prohibited and the driver will be fined if caught.

8.            A safe cycle route network is in the process of being implemented by the Government.

9.            All traffic related regulation, including stopping at pedestrian crossings and at red-light junctions, must be followed.

10.          Parking will be restricted to identified spaces.

 

To access the public consultation click the link - https://meae.gov.mt/en/public_consultations/mti/Pages/Home.aspx

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