Helmets, license plates to be compulsory for Tel Aviv e-scooters

The new regulations “are unprecedented and are meant to set an example for other municipalities around the world who are dealing with similar circumstances,” the municipality said.

Bird electric scooters (photo credit: BIRD)
Bird electric scooters
(photo credit: BIRD)
Tel Aviv Municipality announced the implementation of “unprecedented” regulations for shared electric scooter companies on Monday, aiming to protect both pedestrians and riders as injuries continue to soar.
Under the new regulations issued by the municipality, electric scooters must be equipped with helmets and license plates. In addition, companies will be required to recycle used batteries, lower the speed of scooters and prevent their use entirely in certain areas of the city.
The new regulations, the municipality said, “are unprecedented and are meant to set an example for other municipalities around the world who are dealing with similar circumstances.”
According to figures published last month by the Central Bureau of Statistics, serious accidents involving electric scooters have soared on Israel’s roads this year. Between January and September, 373 electric scooter accidents resulting in injury on Israel’s roads were reported to the police, more than double the 143 accidents recorded during the same period in 2018.
Electric scooters have increased in popularity in Israel over the past year, with several international and domestic scooter rental companies launching services in Tel Aviv and neighboring areas.
Today, electric scooter companies Bird, Lime and Wind, as well as the bicycle sharing firm Mobike and the municipality’s own Tel-O-Fun service, all operate in the city. In November, the Jerusalem Municipality deployed dozens of scooters as part of a pilot project in the city.
“Our main goal is to keep sidewalks as a safe space for walking, as the city’s sidewalks are designed primarily for pedestrians,” said Meital Lehavi, Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor for Transportation. “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.”
New licensing regulations for operators of shared electric scooter and bicycle companies entered into force in Tel Aviv in August, imposing limits on the number of vehicles on the city’s streets and introducing new parking restrictions under a six-month pilot program. The municipality said Monday that it had decided to extend the licensing regulations into 2020.
According to the regulations, each licensed company is limited to a total fleet of 2,500 scooters or bicycles at any given time, and shared transportation options must be distributed throughout the entire city. The municipality has also added hundreds of dedicated parking locations throughout the city to maintain order.