The Swedish transport agency has called for a ban on all electric scooters after a 27-year-old man was killed while riding one of the popular vehicles on Thursday evening.
The accident in the town of Helsingborg, north of Malmö, came just one day after scooters were introduced to the city.
Following the scooter death, which is the first in Sweden where an electric scooter is involved, the Swedish Transport agency’s investigator is now calling for a ban on all scooter companies in Sweden.
“We have been waiting for a serious accident to occur, and it is of course extra tragic when it causes someone’s death,” investigator Hans Cassepierre told Swedish media Aftonbladet. ”We are by the opinion that this is a vehicle that should not be allowed in traffic.”
The reason behind the proposed ban is that the scooters do not follow the restrictions of electric bikes, which have a maximum speed of 20km/hr and stronger brakes than normal bikes.
We are by the opinion that this is a vehicle that should not be allowed in traffic
The agency is pushing the responsibility for the companies providing the scooters to follow the rules and restrictions of electric bikes – or be banned.
The scooter that was used in the accident was one of the Swedish company Voi’s fleet. The deceased is said to have crashed with a car, after having travelled at high speed coming down from a hill.
Voi said that it offers its condolences to the victim’s family and that it working with agencies in charge to better get an understanding of what can have happened.
In response to the Transport agency recommendation to ban scooters, Voi argues that it follows the regulations for its fleet. In a statement to the local tech site Di Digital it writes:
”Our view is that a ban on alternative vehicles, which contributes to creating more sustainable and environmentally friendly cities, is not the right way to go. It is about increasing the number of cycle paths and other routes for a modern urban environment, a society that offers more ways to travel than just cars, buses and regular bicycles.”
Our view is that a ban on alternative vehicles, which contributes to creating more sustainable and environmentally friendly cities, is not the right way to go.
Apart from Voi, scooters by companies such as Tier and Lime are also available across the larger cities of Sweden.
Emergency services in most big cities, where electric scooters are available, have seen a number of accidents where scooters have been involved, most often without a deadly outcome.
In Europe, rather few scooter deaths have so far been reported; among the ones known there is one from London in 2015 and one in Spain in 2018.