Wednesday 26 February 2020

Electric mini scooters still a long way from the Dutch roads

The scooters are popular in places like Singapore. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Not a single company has requested a permit to allow mini electric scooters on the Dutch roads and cycle paths since tough new rules were introduced, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

The new rules, which set strict guidelines for all types of electric scooters and moving boards, were brought into effect in the wake of the fatal crash involving an electric wagon or Stint in September 2018. Four children died in the accident when the wagon ploughed through a level crossing and into a train.

Although the mini vehicles (step in Dutch) are a common sight in other European cities, only a couple of versions have been cleared for use in the Netherlands. Users risk a fine of €380 and having their scooter confiscated.

The scooters are classed as a ‘special moped’ in Dutch law.  To meet the rules they must comply with 46 different articles, including having two separate braking systems, brakes that operate on both wheels, a brake light, direction indicators and a bell, NOS said.

‘The Netherlands has the toughest demands in the world and none of the existing scooters come anywhere near passing,’ mobility expert Bart de Liefde told the broadcaster. He works for e-scooter firm Bird.

‘Our neighbouring countries are three years ahead of us in terms of experience with new vehicles such as the e-scooter,’ he said.

The transport ministry is currently working on a new set of regulations and has already had one meeting with experts, but nothing is likely to be published before March.

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