Source: Accidents involving scooters skyrocket in Lleida
Found on: 2022-05-29 09:39:00
The proliferation of scooters is resulting in an increase in accidents with these vehicles involved. Since the beginning of the year, 43 have already been registered in Lleida capital, of which 32 with injuries, 3 of which seriously, according to data from the Guardia Urbana. Likewise, in the same period, seven administrative complaints have been filed against VMP drivers for testing positive for breathalyzers, two for refusing to submit, and three for drug testing positive.
Accident figures are six times higher than those related to bicycles, and this year there have been 7, with six injured, and the agents have imposed a fine for a positive blood test. In this sense, Josep Ramon Ibarz, mayor of the Urbana, highlights that bicycle accidents have remained stable in recent years, with 51 in 2019, 48 in 2020 (year in which there were months of strict confinement due to Covid) and 50 in 2021, while scooters have skyrocketed from 18 in 2019 to 37 in 2020 and 74 last year.
Only in the first three months of this 2022 there had already been 25, 92% more than the 13 in the first quarter of 2021. In addition, in 2021 the Local Police filed 593 complaints against scooter drivers and in the first quarter of this year they had 250, most for not wearing a helmet, which is mandatory, as well as being at least 16 years old to drive these vehicles, no circulate on the sidewalk, do not exceed 25 km/hour and do not carry two people on the scooter. They can go on the road in streets with one lane and 30 zones, always respecting traffic regulations (they cannot drive in the wrong direction).
Ibarz stresses that many scooter users “they are not aware that they carry a vehicle, and the most unstable of all, more than bicycles”. However, Pedro Lara, from the VMP Lleida collective, says that “I don’t see it as more dangerous than the bicycle or the motorcycle.” “In an accident you are on equal terms, you are the chassis. It doesn’t make much difference if they use it well and you know where you can go,” he says.
The only fatal accident in Lleida involving an electric scooter occurred in September of last year. A 78-year-old woman was hit by one of these vehicles on Catalunya Avenue and died the next day as a result of her injuries.
On the other hand, the mayor of the Urbana points out that “the regulations are very changing.” He argues that “the social phenomenon appeared first and then the legislation” and predicts that “there will be more changes.” For example, he believes that it is a matter of time before it is mandatory to have insurance to circulate in VMP.