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Govt moves to regulate scooters

Eyleen Gomez

People using scooters will have to wear helmets and abide by traffic rules or face the prospect of stiff fines, according to draft legislation published today by the Gibraltar Government that stops short of requiring permits and insurance.

The legislation is detailed in a command paper issued after consultation on the use of so-called personal transporters on Gibraltar’s roads.

Scooters provide a cheap, green transport option for people who need to move around the Rock.

But there are serious concerns about their use on roads and the safety not just of riders but also those around them.

“As we said at the time of the election, ‘the free for all has to stop’,” said Transport Minister Vijay Daryanani.

“We cannot allow these devices, now defined as personal light electric transporters, amongst them e-scooters, to be used with wanton disregard for the safety of their users and others on our network of roads and pavements.”

“Equally, we cannot, and we will not turn our backs on what we consider is potentially, with other electrically assisted vehicles, one of the key future elements of the transport eco-system in Gibraltar.”

“We cannot and we will not allow the reckless use of these devices by a minority to deprive us of the environmental and healthcare benefits of decreased pollution for the population at large.”

“Our geographic location, the nature and geographic distribution of our workforce and our determination to recover to a new and much better ‘normal’ post-pandemic requires us to take bold action we were already committed to taking.”

“We are taking that bold action now, not later.”

The draft legislation sets out safety requirements for riders including the use of helmets and lights after dark.

It does not impose a requirement for a licence, permit or insurance, but makes clear that riders must be 17 or older.

The draft rules make reckless use of a personal transporter a criminal offence punishable by fines or up to four months’ imprisonment.

They also provide for circumstances where transporters can be seized and open the door to fixed penalty notices.

“The context for the publication of this command Paper goes back some time now and is the subject of a GSLP/Liberals manifesto commitment from October 2019,” Mr Daryanani said.

“It is also the case that the experience of lockdown in Gibraltar, the massive environmental benefit of the reduced levels of traffic and our overall commitment to a Green Gibraltar, has spurred us to publish this command paper now.”

“The draft of this legislation has been ready now for several weeks, as work began on its preparation a matter of days after the general election last year.”

“It is the result of weeks of hard work by members of my team and the Government Law Offices and I wish to record my gratitude to all those who have spearheaded and participated in its creation.”

The command paper is open for feedback and the deadline for any responses is June 19.