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Rules For Footpaths And Micro-vehicles

Ahead of tomorrow's (Monday 9/3/2020) release of the Accessible Streets package, Living Streets Aoteoroa and the Footpaths for Feet Coalition(1) is calling on the government to adopt the https://www.itf-oecd.org/10-recommendations-safe-micromobility(2), which released its report(3) on e-scooters and other micro-vehicles last week.

The three most significant recommendations in the current context of rapidly growing micro-mobility options were that:

- protected space should be allocated for e-scooters and other micro-mobility devices or where micromobility devices and motor vehicles share road space the speed limits should be lowered to 30km/h. The focus should remain on the danger that motor vehicles pose other road users

- micromobility devices capable of only low speeds should be regulated as bicycles while those capable of higher speeds should be regulated as mopeds

- eliminate incentives for users of rental micromobility device to speed such as by requiring charging by distance rather than time.

The government has a golden opportunity to promote the safe integration of micromobility devices such as e-scooters into our transport system by adopting these recommendations. The question is whether it has the foresight and good sense to do so or whether it will sacrifice the safety, and perception of safety, of pedestrians when it reveals its Accessible Streets package tomorrow.

'Footpaths4Feet has repeatedly expressed its concern to the government about the negative effects on pedestrians and disabled people of having e-scooters and other vehicles on footpaths. We hope it has taken heed and won't be suggesting anything stupid in this package', says Footpaths4feet convenor Dr Chris Teo-Sherrell.

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