Just today I saw a french tourist couple doubling on a Wind scooter, in shorts screaming through a busy intersection. Money flew out of her pocket and she went running into a busy street on Hayarkon, stopping traffic as she dove for her wind-strewn money. Tel Aviv and Jaffa is a living hell for pedestrians and pedal-bike riders who use bike lanes. Ask anyone here. And so many of the users are not from here, but are tourists or long-term travellers. As an effort to prevent hit and runs and death by scooter Tel Aviv becomes the first city in the world to require all shared electric scooters to be licensed and helmetted.
The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has issued new regulations for shared electric scooter companies in order to keep pedestrians and riders safe. The new regulations include equipping electric scooters with helmets, installing license plates, recycling used batteries, lowering the speed of the scooters in certain areas, and preventing the usage of scooters in restricted areas.
The regulations enforced by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality are unprecedented and are meant to set an example for other municipalities around the world who are dealing with similar circumstances.
In August 2019, the municipality embarked on a pilot to regulate companies that were renting out electric scooters in the city. These companies had been subjected to a number of conditions and restrictions in order to obtain a permit to operate in the city, which included ensuring availability throughout the city, limiting the maximum number of scooters per company to 2,500 units, allowing parking only in designated areas which have to be marked in the companies’ apps, preventing usage by minors, implementing and activating a service call center, and banning the scooters’ alarms during the nighttime.
Looking ahead to 2020, the municipality has decided to continue with this pilot, adding additional terms and restrictions with the purpose of increasing road safety and maintaining public order in the future.
Meital Lehavi, Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo for Transportation: “Our main goal is to keep sidewalks as a safe space for walking, as the city’s sidewalks are designed primarily for pedestrians. Tel Aviv is a very walkable city and we encourage people to take advantage of the city’s small size, flat topography and over 300 days of sunshine a year.”