Up to August this year, there were 700 fines in Palma for breaches of regulations regarding electric scooters and personal mobility vehicles. Over the same eight-month period of 2020, there were 113 fines. The increase isn't solely a reflection of the confinement last year. There are more vehicles and rules are being flouted.
The most common sanction this year - 206 fines - has been for not having a bell, a brake system, lights or reflective elements. In 145 cases, fines were imposed for scooters using spaces intended exclusively for pedestrians. Riding with a companion has been another major reason for fines.
While the number of fines has risen significantly, so also has the number of accidents. Up to the middle of August, there were 117. Eighty-six people were injured in one way or another. For the whole of 2020 there were 143 accidents and one hundred injuries, while in 2019 there were 94 accidents.
The problem is obviously not confined to Palma. In Inca, there were 13 fines during August. In Calvia, there have been two fines of 200 euros for the more serious breaches - riding a scooter under the permitted age and not having the required safety elements.
A study published last week showed that 90% of people believe that the use of personal mobility vehicles is not sufficiently regulated. In this regard, town halls are drawing up their own regulations. In Calvia, for example, insurance will be necessary from January 2022.
In Palma, Sonia Jitsi, spokesperson for the association for the defence of pedestrian rights, says: "We live in a city conceived for motorised vehicles. The town hall should adopt segregated, safe and wide lanes for personal mobility vehicles, so that they can occupy the road without causing harm to pedestrians. There need to be controls and penalties for speeding in excess of 25 kilometres per hour."