The Italian government on Tuesday announced a ban on electric scooters on city streets to reduce accidents, reduce injuries and prevent sidewalks from becoming messy obstacle courses. The government has updated Italy’s motorway codes, also announcing that it will revoke the licenses of anyone using a mobile phone while driving and promising zero tolerance for anyone caught drunk or on drugs.
As in many European countries, the use of e-scooters has boomed in Italy in recent years, with rental companies flooding major cities with scooter rentals popular with locals and tourists.
However, police have reported numerous accidents and six people have died while riding motorcycles in Rome alone in the past two years. Scooters also pose problems for pedestrians, as there are no regulations on where scooters should be parked.
Riders must wear helmets and have insurance, while e-scooters must now have a license plate, under new rules approved by Cabinet. The measures must be approved by parliament before they become law.
Driving two-wheelers outside built-up areas, such as major highways, or leaving them unattended on sidewalks is prohibited.
“We need to restore a little order. Think of the sidewalks in big cities like Milan and Rome, it’s like a gymnasium for people with prams,” Transport Minister Matteo Salvini said after unveiling his plans.
Parisians voted in April to ban them from the French capital. There are no such proposals in Italy yet, although various cities are considering speed limits for scooters and reducing the number of companies that rent out scooters.
First published date: Jun 28, 2023 at 08:58 AM EST