Transport Minister Knut Arild Hareide now claims to be “deeply worried” over the ongoing rise in serious accidents involving electric scooters, and how they threaten the safety of pedestrians. Hareide’s new proposed restrictions on them were met by criticism that they’re too little, too late.
“We want to congratulate Hareide over how he has finally woken up, three weeks before the (parliamentary) election,” editorialized newspaper Dagsavisen this week. “It’s a shame and a scandal that he has let the problems with these extremely dangerous electric vehicles grow from day to day.”
Hareide is now proposing limits on alcohol consumption among scooter drivers, a national ban on riding scooters on sidewalks, mandatory helmet use for young drivers and a ban on use of the scooters by children 12 and under. He and his Christian Democrats party are likely to lose badly in the upcoming election, putting someone else in line for his job.
While various cities, not least Oslo, are trying to crack down on scooter use, national laws are needed to enforce restriction after a round of hearings. That’s not expected until next spring.