Although e-scooters have been in Germany since 2019, they still cause a lot of problems. More and more municipalities are therefore planning new regulations. The city of Nuremberg shows how electric scooters can be sensibly integrated. Comment classification.
E-scooters have been causing a lot of trouble on German roads and sidewalks since 2019. More and more municipalities are addressing the problem and planning new regulations for the use of scooters. For example, the city of Nuremberg. But from the beginning.
Even more trouble than Deutsche Bahn
E-scooters are not particularly popular with the German population – although they have been represented by various providers and rental systems in almost all (larger) cities for almost five years now.
The problem is not the scooters themselves, but rather the relaxed regulations for parking vehicles. This inevitably means that many people park their e-scooters exactly where their destination is – we’re just light and lazy.
Barrier for wheelchair users, blind people and prams
Hundreds of scooters that literally stand in the way show that it doesn’t always make sense – because it is allowed and tolerated by the municipalities. However, the consequence is that many other road users have to accept massive disabilities.
People in wheelchairs, blind people or parents with small children in strollers often cannot use the sidewalk because of haphazardly parked e-scooters, but have to cross the street. A result that cannot be desirable either for the affected people or for the municipalities.
Basic question for e-scooters in Germany
But how did it even happen? As is often the case, the answer can be found in the statute books. Simply put, there are two different opinions in Germany:
- Electric scooter rental systems, like cars and bicycles, fall under public use and can be parked accordingly.
- Electric scooters are special uses that require a permit, such as outdoor seating in cafes in the summer. For this special use, companies – for example operators of cafes or scooter rentals – must pay a contribution to municipalities.
Voluntary declarations of intent remain ineffective
Since the federal government as a legislator did not set any clear guidelines, each municipality could implement its own opinion. At the same time, in many places, especially in the early days, a view developed that scooters were part of common use.
Accordingly, many cities and municipalities like to rent systems Wow, animal, lime and co. they signed the so-called voluntary declarations of intent. However, as such formulations are not legally binding, the established principles for stopping have largely been lost, which has subsequently led to problems.
New case law and imminent bans on e-scooters?
But now it seems that the proverbial tide is turning. That’s right, among other things Administrative Court of Munster ruled that e-scooters are part of a special use that requires approval.
One argument: Electric scooters advertise the company even after parking. This in turn is a commercial aspect that does not fall under normal public use.
On the other hand, more and more cities and municipalities in Germany are now using this judgment to regulate rental system providers more closely.
However, the ban on e-scooters – as demanded by some interest groups – cannot be derived from this, as shown by previous judgments.
E-scooters in Nuremberg: no ban and no trouble
and City of Nuremberg for example, it has now introduced new rules for the use of scooters, which should apply from spring 2023. There are several central points that should ensure greater satisfaction everywhere in Germany:
- E-scooters can only be parked in the center and in the city center in fixed and marked public parking spaces.
- The number of e-scooters is limited by the number of parking spaces.
- The rental fee for the user continues until the e-scooter is parked in the official parking lot.
- Lenders have to pay a special usage fee per vehicle and quarter. This is for example in Munster for 12.50 euros.
The new regulations (hopefully soon to be implemented) represent an ideal compromise: On the one hand, there is no need to ban e-scooters, which means that no one is restricted in their desire to move and in their freedom of choice.
On the other hand, high fees for users and rental companies, as well as fixed parking spaces, ensure that the sidewalks remain freely accessible to all. This is of the utmost importance, especially with regard to integration into our society.
Accordingly, we can only hope that the guidelines will be quickly implemented – not only in Nuremberg, Leipzig, Bremen and Münster, but in all German cities. So that all road users can coexist peacefully and safely.