The traffic police of Moscow offered to test the knowledge of the rules of the road (SDA) of drivers of electric scooters. The innovation can start working in the capital next year in a test mode. The issue of regulation of means of individual mobility (SIM) has been disturbing the public for several years. The number of accidents involving electric scooters is not decreasing, and the bureaucratic quirks of the system prevent changes to the legislation. In the bottom line, we get the right initiative with a ton of questions about its implementation.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in the first half of 2022 alone, more than 150 accidents involving SIMs occurred, which is 35% more than for the same period in 2021. The figure is not catastrophic, and the dynamics is primarily related to the availability of these vehicles – the low cost of rent (in Moscow – 50 rubles + 7 rubles per minute) and a large number of stations with electric scooters.
Most often, SIMs are used by couriers, schoolchildren and people who do not have cars. These categories of citizens, for the most part, do not know the traffic rules and, behind the wheel, behave not like drivers, but like pedestrians. The electric scooter is not always aware of the responsibility that he bears to all road users. Therefore, before putting all the blame on SIM drivers, it is worth remembering about pedestrians.
If you look at the behavior of citizens who prefer to move on their own two feet, the picture becomes ambiguous. It turns out that in Russia pedestrians do not know the traffic rules at all, and they do not consider it necessary to study them. A banal example: if you need to go to a store that is located across the road, then with a probability of 90% you will quickly cross to the other side, bypassing the pedestrian crossing, because it was a little further than the end point.
Changing to a bicycle or a scooter, people do not change their thinking, and they cannot do it. They are unaware that, when crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing, a person is obliged to leave his, albeit small, but quite vehicle and drive it nearby, as dictated by the traffic rules. As a result, very often – the opposite situation.
In Moscow and the Moscow region there are dedicated lanes created in order to distinguish between the movement of pedestrians, cyclists and SIM owners. This did not help to regulate the situation. On summer evenings, Brownian motion dominates on such roads: everyone interferes with each other, and the walk turns into one continuous stress.
All road users should know traffic rules. But a law enforcement officer will not stop every pedestrian and ask him tricky questions or force him to fill out a questionnaire. Let’s imagine that the initiative has come into force, but then who will check the knowledge of SIM drivers? Traffic officer? This is not his responsibility. It is possible to expand the area of responsibility of the police, but this will increase the burden on them and require additional funding. And most importantly, such a move will also require changes in legislation.
Another moment. Testing for knowledge of traffic rules is planned to be launched in Moscow. It turns out that if I come from the Moscow region or the Ryazan region, I won’t be able to take an electric scooter? Or will it be taken away from me after testing? Or will I be fined, because ignorance does not exempt from liability?
It is not clear why the owner of an electric scooter is worse than a cyclist. Returning to the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, accidents involving the latter occur ten times more often. In any case, testing for knowledge of the rules is impossible without changes to the legislation. Only when the SIM becomes a full-fledged road user and this is recorded in the traffic rules, it will be possible to demand something from their owners.
But everything is very difficult with the legislation. There is such a thing as a “regulatory guillotine”: individual changes cannot be made to the traffic rules. The only option is to adopt a new edition of the document, which is impossible to do promptly. This means that more than one month and probably not even a year will pass before electric scooters are regulated by law.
The author is a columnist for Izvestia »
The position of the editors may not coincide with the opinion of the author