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New scooter safety campaign launched amid rise in injuries

20:40 22/03/2023

Following a steep rise in injuries related to electric scooters, the Brussels region is launching a safety awareness campaign.

The number of injured scooter users has increased three-fold between the spring of 2021 and that of 2022.

Brussels Mobility wants to reverse that trend with an awareness campaign with the slogan: "Watch your step" - a play on the fact that a scooter is called a "step" in Dutch.

The use of electric scooters has exploded in Brussels in recent years, with a current 23,000 available for rent in the city.

A peak of 1.5 million rentals was reached in June 2022. At the same time, accident rates in the Brussels region have also increased.

In the second quarter of 2022, there were 271 accidents involving injured scooter-users - triple the amount during the same period in 2021.

Some of these accidents were due to risky behaviour: 8% of scooter users involved in an accident tested positive for alcohol.

Especially with the nice weather approaching, it is important to remind users of the rules, according to Brussels Mobility.

Those rules changed on 1 July 2022. Scooter users are now formally considered cyclists and must therefore use bicycle facilities.

Riding on the pavement is no longer allowed, nor is it legal for two people to share a single scooter.

“When used correctly, scooters are a very practical alternative for getting around in the city,” said Brussels mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt (Green).

“Proper use means safely, in the right place and with respect for other road users and traffic rules.

"We are currently providing drop-off zones all over Brussels and are launching a campaign to improve coexistence between scooter users and other means of transport.”

During the campaign, police will pay particular attention to offences and risky behaviour committed while on a scooter.

Fines can add up quickly. Riding on the pavement is a first-degree offence (€68) and driving through a red light is a third-degree offence (€184).

Written by Helen Lyons