The liberal Glas opposition party has sent to parliament a bill of amendments to the law on road traffic safety to regulate electric scooters and their riders, which the current law treats the same as regular pedestrians.
Glas warned that for driving an electric scooter, some of which can reach a speed of 40 kmh, it is not required to have a driver's licence, helmet or a safety vest, and that they are allowed to drive without any restrictions on sidewalks, bike paths, roads, and motorways.
They proposed amending the law to introduce a new category, called "small electric vehicle," to regulate them better, but added that they otherwise welcome the use of scooters as they are an environmentally friendly type of vehicle which does not contribute to traffic congestion.
"Some countries have noticed in time the increase in the number of these vehicles and have regulated them by law. Given the trends, there will be more and more of them here as well, so it's better to immediately regulate them and prevent possible accidents," MP Anka Mrak-Taritas said on Thursday.
MP Nada Turina-Djuric said that having a traffic law with a completely unregulated category is "worse than having a poor law."
"With these amendments, we wish to restrict the behaviour of these new participants in traffic because in Zagreb there are already thousands of them. We propose that they must use existing bike paths, so we call on cities to designate more bike paths. Where there are no bike paths, they should use the pavement, and only when neither is available, they would be allowed to use roads, but only in urban areas, definitely not in long-distance traffic. That's why we call on local governments to take a more active part in regulating this type of traffic," she said.
The bill would also ban riders from consuming any alcohol, oblige them to wear high visibility safety vests and helmets, and to install safety lights on their vehicles.
"We wish to limit their speeds and to increase safety, we wish to legalise all that, because right now, in case of an accident, the law is not clear on how to treat riders," Turina-Djuric said.