Electric scooters to be forbidden on pavements and for riders under 16

Electric scooters to be forbidden on pavements and for riders under 16
Scattered scooters in downtown Brussels. Photo by Helen Lyons/The Brussels Times

E-scooters have won over many people as a quick and convenient alternative to public transport but they can also be a nuisance. Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet has now revealed a raft of new regulations to control the problem.

Electric scooters are popular, especially among younger people, yet there can be dangerous consequences. In 2020, there were around 400 accidents in the Brussels region, according to the road safety institute Vias.

As a result, and after consulting with regional ministers, electric scooters will be banned from pavements and must no longer be used by those under 16. The current regulations allow for driving at a walking speed on pavements, but it “does not seem to be respected," Gilkinet’s office said.

“It is important that there is a minimum age of 16 years,” explains Flemish Minister of Mobility Lydia Peeters in De Morgen. “We have equated scooters with all motorised vehicles, just think of light mopeds. Only from the age of 16 does someone have sufficient knowledge of traffic rules. It is too dangerous to let children ride on roads on unstable vehicles that reach 25 km per hour."

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In pedestrian areas, signs will specify whether driving on electric scooters is permitted. Failure to comply can result in immediate police fines of €58.

Further to this, parking spaces for scooters will be made available, as sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians is “far from easy”, the Mobility Office said. At the moment, electric scooters can be parked on pavements if they don’t block passages.

Parking properly in designated areas will be crucial, as improper parking can carry a fine of €116. 

Under the new traffic laws, two riders on an electric scooter will no longer be allowed. Helmets will not be mandatory but are strongly encouraged. 

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