Following the death of a 90-year-old Spanish woman after a collision with an electric scooter in what is believed to be the first accident of its kind in the world in Barcelona this week, the Director General for Traffic, yesterday announced new measures to ban scooters from being ridden on pavements and that a maximum speed limit of 25 kilometres per hour is to be introduced.
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is that the law introduced in 2016 to regulate the use of manned vehicles has become to a certain extent obsolete because of the introduction of new forms of travel, such as electric scooters which are now extremely popular on the pavements and cycle lanes of Palma.
The exponential growth of electric scooters in cities in Spain and elsewhere has promoted debate about their safety and where they should be allowed to circulate.
Out-of-date laws meant for non-motorised scooters mean that in Madrid and Palma, for example, they can be ridden on the pavement, although the capital council is drawing up plans to restrict their use.
In the case of Palma, we will have to wait and see what action the council intends to take.
In Barcelona a taxi driver videoed a teenage couple riding on a scooter at 50 miles an hour, presumably after manipulating the device to raise its maximum speed.
Spain’s interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, said in October that traffic rules must be changed to protect “especially vulnerable” road users, noting that this year would be the first on record in which pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists’ deaths would outnumber those of drivers.