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E-scooters – What Problem?

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Last month, we reported that the PSOE in Torrevieja filed a notion for the governing board to regulate the distribution and use of e-scooters throughout the municipality. This week, the plenary session took place where the notion was to be tabled, discussed and voted on, but the proposal was dismissed by the PP government team of Eduardo Dolon, as they do not see any problems with e-scooters in the town.

Amongst the elements the PSOE wanted to regulate on were the provision of rental scooters in the town, and their subsequent control, as many residents have highlighted problems with these vehicles left in inconvenient, and often illegal locations, not only by users, but by the companies themselves. It is frequent to see them parked on pedestrian crossings, chevron markings, and pavements, the latter of which often prevents the safe movement of pedestrians, and is especially problematic for those in wheelchairs or with baby buggies, as Torrevieja is also lacking many of the mandatory routes for those with reduced mobility, a situation worsened when a user has to try to pass one of these vehicles which should be left in a legal manner on the road.

One of the proposals of the PSOE was the creation of dedicated parking spaces, as is the case in other towns and cities, not only in Spain, but other countries where these vehicles are used, including some locations in the UK, for example.

Another important point they wanted to regulate and encourage is educating users. In recent times there was a common belief that a day would not pass without seeing a car driver on a mobile phone, these days, it’s almost impossible for an hour to pass without seeing one of these e-scooters being used in an illegal manner, a matter that is frequently ignored by those who should be enforcing the law it would seem.

However, it is also recognised that the biggest reason for these vehicles being ridden illegally is a lack of knowledge of the rules by the users. The vehicle itself has to undergo rigorous testing in order to be certified for use on the roads, and yet, the life of the human riding them is seemingly insignificant, as no such testing or training exists.

Think for a moment about the common question, “how do you drive around a roundabout in Spain?”, in this case rhetorical, but imagine if nobody has ever told you how to drive around such a structure anywhere. The only knowledge you might have is seeing other road users trying to navigate one of the most problematic features on the road, and what you witness, and method you subsequently follow, is motivated by experience that is incorrect, without ever knowing that is the case.

A recent survey in the UK determined that of all the qualified and experienced drivers questioned, those who took the survey didn’t know half of the road signs they were shown. Again, put that into context, and imagine you have never been told what any of these road signs mean. Because that is the reality of many of these vehicle users.

As part of the PSOE proposal, the Local Police would enter schools and colleges as part of an educational and awareness campaign to advise young people of the rules and regulations. An alternative would be for the teachers themselves to hold special classes within the established educational curriculum. Either, or both of those options gained the support of teachers, because, despite what the government team think, those teachers believe that there is a problem, and a problem that is putting the lives and safety of young people at risk.

The reason why it is important to focus on those young people, who, by the way, are not the only ones who are seen frequently breaking the law, but there is a huge number of users in the age group who are now too old to use the school bus, but too young to drive, and so e-scooters have become a transitional vehicle within the urban mobility framework.

The final element that the proposal would have focussed on is enforcement. According to the PSOE, some 50 fines were issued in Torrevieja in the entire summer period, and given the number of obvious infractions seen constantly, this figure is extremely low. Once the regulation and control of the rental vehicles was resolved, and the educational campaign for users underway, enforcement is the next step to ensuring compliance with these rules which, like all traffic laws, have one singe goal, and that is to make the roads safer for all.

However, given that the ruling PP of Eduardo Dolon do not consider any of these points to be either a problem or necessary to resolve, none of these life-saving improvements will take place anytime soon in Torrevieja, although, according to the head of the PSOE, Barbara Soler, it is a fight that they will continue until the safety and inconvenience placed on residents of Torrevieja becomes a priority.

The post E-scooters – What Problem? appeared first on News, Sport, Information, Property, Business in Spain – News, Sport, Spanish Property for Sale, Business Directory, Classifieds, and Advertising for Spain.

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