Speaking to Lusa, regarding the “Guidelines on the Regulation of Shared Micromobility”, Ana Paula Vitorino explained that the document proposes “a set of recommendations to the legislating State” and to the various bodies responsible for road safety and “gives legal options”.
“The AMT considers shared micromobility to be very important, it has come to satisfy the market for short distances, leisure, and tourism, but there are also already many people who use it for commuting to work and school”, she explained, stressing, however, that this “grew faster” and “went beyond the legal and urban framework”.
“It crossed everything and that is why there has to be regulation”, stressed the former Secretary of State for Transport (2005/2009), considering that “some things are already in the Highway Code”, such as not riding a scooter against the flow of traffic, “but there are others that depend on common sense”, she pointed out. For Ana Paula Vitorino, scooters have to be “considered a vehicle”.
“But an amendment of this type to the Highway Code is not enough either, there must be an intervention that regulates and reorganises the use of public space. We cannot have blind people using pavements where scooters are urban obstacles”, she said.
According to the president of the body that regulates the area of transport, there is also a need for companies that own scooters to have insurance, considering that companies that provide this mobility already have “authentic fleets”. “If there is a fleet, there must be insurance with civil liability”, she exemplified.
Ana Paula Vitorino also added that “supervision should be increased, which also induces fines”, giving as an example the case of fines imposed on those who use the subway without a valid ticket. Regarding the disorderly parking of scooters, which has lately been the target of various criticisms due to the danger to pedestrians, the president of the AMT explained that the concept of parking should also be regulated, a competence that will fall to the municipalities.
Knowing in advance that this is an area that has competences distributed by many entities, Ana Paula Vitorino stressed that the study points out ideas, as well as legal solutions for its implementation. In November, the Portuguese Road Prevention (PRP) argued that the Government should take measures to stop accidents with scooters, despite the lack of data in Portugal that characterise the accident rate of these vehicles.
“The government should take action. Despite the fact that there is no concrete data at a national level, some steps should start to be taken”, the director general of the PRP, Alan Areal, told Lusa, maintaining that there is a general concern about accidents involving scooters.
According to data sent to Lusa at the time, the PSP registered, until November last year, 489 accidents involving scooters, which caused 395 minor injuries and 13 serious injuries, the highest figure since 2019.