Electric scooters circulate freely in Namur and Liège and should soon be introduced in Wallonia, but if the CdH party has its way, the mode of transport will soon be regulated.
Developing regional rules and regulations on the rental and use of scooters is the main thrust of a bill presented by the Humanists on Monday in a regional parliamentary commission, although discussions on the substance of the draft were not tabled immediately.
“To this day, operators who offer these scooters for rental are not subject to any regional rules, which could cause difficulties in the streets, between clogged pavements, inaccessible pedestrian crossings and crowded bus stops,” Chrétien démocrate humaniste (cdH) parliamentarian Julien Matagne explained. “It is therefore of essential importance to establish a clear legal framework within which all operators will be able to develop their services as long as they follow a certain number of rules.”
The proposed law would enable cities and communes to issue a compulsory license for scooter rental concerns. To obtain the licenses, the rental companies will have to provide a civil responsibility insurance for users, use renewable energy to recharge and collect scooters, respect labour standards and share mobility data with municipal authorities.
Municipal councils would also be enabled to set specific operating conditions so as to engage the responsibility of operators, such as maximum or minimum numbers of scooters and a minimal coverage area so that they are also present in the suburbs.
The parking of scooters in some areas could also be prohibited.
Further, communes that so wish could be authorised to charge a fee for the use of the public domain.
“The idea of our proposal is really to encourage this type of transport while reconciling users of sidewalks and cycle paths by defining a clear framework for all businesses wishing to develop in Wallonia,” Matagne said.
No timetable has been set for the debate on the new text which, according to the cdH, “should not be divisive”.