Berlin (AP) - Enthusiastically are young tourists. For many, skepticism and criticism prevail. The accident figures are high. Three months after the permit for the new electric scooters for Germany on 15 June, the resistance is growing. dpa answers the most important questions about the first German e-scooter summer season.
How many e-scooters are there nationwide?
The number is difficult to determine. Not all lenders make statements. In Berlin, 9000 e-scooters from at least five companies are available for hire. In Hamburg and Munich, there are about 3000, in other cities also a few thousand. There are also hundreds of scooters in medium-sized cities. The Swedish company Voi plans to be present in 30 to 35 German cities shortly. All over Germany, there are now tens of thousands of scooters on the roads. Other scooters are used privately.
Where and by whom are the scooters mainly used?
The scooters are particularly in the inner cities and the adjacent areas, where many people are traveling and the lenders to many customers hope. In the big cities, it is usually the neighborhoods that are popular with younger people and tourists. Only a few outlying districts belong to the business areas.
How strictly do scooter drivers respect the traffic rules?
Often you see people who use an e-scooter in pairs or are drunk. Also, that many drivers are in pedestrian areas and footpaths, causing trouble. Pedestrian and handicapped associations complained. The police reacted with controls. In Munich, in 900 cases drivers of electric scooters were caught who were drunk or had taken drugs. In Mannheim and Heidelberg, the police found 233 violations in 7 days. A police spokesman in Mannheim said: "Everything that can be done wrong is also done wrong." In Berlin, the police stopped twelve drunk drivers in one night in a bar district.
How dangerous are the scooters?
Inexperienced or drunken drivers quickly lose their balance with the wobbly vehicles and their small wheels. However, there are no secured accident figures that allow comparison with cyclists. The Berlin police had after a month 21 traffic accidents with 4 serious and 15 slightly injured registered. Mostly the scooter drivers were to blame. So a 26-year-old Swede injured when he crashed at 2.2 per thousand.
Head physician Christian Kühne of the Hamburg city center St. Georg said: "In the past two months, we have treated more injured people in our clinic by e-scooter accidents than injuries caused by bicycle accidents." In Munich, the police registered more than at the beginning of September 40 scooter accidents. According to the police, 55 accidents involving electric scooters were counted in Cologne.
The rental company Voi admits: "Especially young users, who have not yet taken a driving test, often handle the e-scooters irresponsibly." A nationwide safety campaign is to help. In terms of safety, the TÜV Association has required turn signals for e-scooters - and a helmet duty.
How annoying are the parked scooters?
In addition to the rental bicycles, the e-scooters are now everywhere in the big cities. Some cities are already working on counterstrategies. In Berlin, park areas along the roadside will be reserved for e-scooters and rental bikes from next year. Düsseldorf wants to classify the letting from 2020 as a special use, scooters may no longer be parked in pedestrian areas, parks or playgrounds. The lenders have to eliminate false parking scooters. Other cities like Hamburg, Munich or Dortmund have hardly any problems.
What is the environmental impact of e-scooters?
Instead of driving by car, people in the cities should use the new e-scooters in combination with buses and trains. That was the argument of the rental companies and the desire of transport politicians. Three months later, many are disillusioned, especially given the rather high prices for roll rental of up to 20 cents per minute.
The Federal Environment Agency stated: "The routes traveled are usually very short and can also be mastered on foot, by bus, train or bicycle." It would be better if loan scooters were in the outskirts because the routes to the next stop were longer there , According to initial figures from Berlin, the scooters are mainly used for routes up to two kilometers. The cycling association ADFC wrote: "We had hopes that e-scooters would also be used to whirle to the baker or to the office. And that the car stops for that. "But that did not happen.
What happens to the scooters in winter?
Some landlord companies want to leave their scooters outside in the winter months. "So far, no winter break is planned. As long as the users drive with the scooters, they have the opportunity, »said the Swedish company Voi. "We assume that they will be driven diligently even in winter." In Scandinavia, there was also "high demand" in winter.
What are the experiences abroad?
The mayor of Paris demanded new laws to better regulate the use of e-scooters. Madrid limited the number of licenses. The scooters may no longer be used on sidewalks, most roads or bus lanes. They are still allowed on cycle paths and partly in Tempo 30 zones. Milan asked the lenders in August to collect their vehicles within three days - the scooters are to be banned from public space until further notice. Tel Aviv threatened the rental companies with license withdrawal. They would have to make sure that the drivers follow the traffic rules.
What does Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer (CSU) plan?
The license for e-scooters will be scientifically monitored and evaluated by the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) over a period of three years, the ministry said. At the end of 2020, a first interim report on effects on road safety will be presented.