The City of Helsinki and the companies that rent out e-scooters have agreed on changes to the renting policies, which will improve traffic safety.
All companies renting out e-scooters in Helsinki – Voi, TIER and Lime – will start restricting the maximum speed of their e-scooters. The maximum speed will be lowered from 25 km/h to 20 km/h in the daytime and to 15 km/h at night (from midnight to 5 am). The changes have entered into force on 3 September 2021 and remain in force until further notice.
In addition to this, a trial has started during which rental e-scooters will be completely unavailable during weekend nights (nights of Fri–Sat and Sat–Sun) from midnight to 5 am. The trial will continue until the end of 2021, at which point its potential continuation will be agreed on. At the same time, data will be gathered on how the time restrictions affect the number of accidents, with season-specific changes in the utilisation rates also taken into account.
The new restrictions on the maximum speed and operating times of rental e-scooters will apply everywhere in Helsinki. Prior to this change coming into force, speed restrictions have been tested in the city centre during weekend nights.
The desired goal of the speed and time restrictions is to reduce accidents involving e-scooters, which have taken place during weekend nights, in particular.
The restrictions, placed voluntarily by the rental companies, have been agreed on through amicable discussions between the companies and the authorities. For the City of Helsinki, placing authoritarian restrictions is not the primary solution to solving problems, since the e-scooters are welcome in traffic according to law, and there clearly is demand for these services in Helsinki.
In 2021, representatives of the City and the rental companies will also promote the development of parking solutions for the e-scooters. In the city centre, the possibility of restricting parking will be studied regarding areas where parking is the most problematic in terms of accessibility and comfort.
Photo: Antti Pulkkinen.