Bulgaria: New Rules for Electric Scooters in Sofia - Fines up to 25 EUR

Society | May 31, 2023, Wednesday // 14:58
Bulgaria: Bulgaria: New Rules for Electric Scooters in Sofia - Fines up to 25 EUR @BNR

New rules, restrictions and sanctions for the use of scooters and electric scooters in Sofia are proposed in amendments to the "Ordinance on the organization of traffic on the territory of the Capital Municipality". They will be submitted by the chairman of the Metropolitan Municipal Council, Georgi Georgiev, and published for public discussion.

"Sofia is a large and modern city and the rapid increase in the number of scooters is logical and expected. They are an important factor in reducing air pollution, carbon emissions and traffic congestion. There are already over 10,000 electric scooters in the capital, of which around 2,000 are rented out by the 3 operators," he said.

He said there have been a number of scooter accidents over the past two years, from self-ignition as a result of charging, through accidents with pedestrians and cars to footage of people driving at unreasonably high speeds between cars.

"There are also continuous complaints about improperly parked electric scooters. Within two years, the Ministry of the Interior has registered 1,604 violations," he added.

It is because of this, according to Georgiev, that the introduction of new rules is necessary.

What the municipal councilors propose:

1. The movement of scooters is prohibited in parks, gardens, squares, sidewalks and in pedestrian areas ("Vitosha" Blvd. between "Alabin" St. and "Patriarch Evtimiy" Blvd.; the area around "Ivan Vazov" Theater.; " Count Ignatiev" street between "Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi" Blvd. and "Alabin" St.; "Pirotska" St. in the section between "Knyaginya Maria Luiza" Blvd. and "Stefan Stambolov" Blvd.; "Stefan Stambolov" Blvd. in the section between "Exarch Yosif" Street and "Slivnitsa" Blvd. (Women's Market); "Exarch Yosif" Street in the section between "G. S. Rakovski" Street and "G. Benkovski" Street; " George Washington" street from "Trapezitsa" St. to "Pirotska" St.; "Saborna" St. from "Sveta Nedelya" Square to "Tsar Kaloyan" St.; along "Saborna" St. from "Lege" St. to Street "Knyaz Alexander I").

In the indicated places, movement is allowed only by pushing.

- It is the duty of owners or operators who provide scooters for rent to software limit the speed to 5 km/h in the areas where their movement is prohibited (listed above) and in all other areas to 25 km/h.

2. It is prohibited to park in wide urban spaces such as parks, gardens, children's and sports grounds, green areas, pedestrian spaces, public transport stops or entrances to metro stations, building entrances, ramps for people with disabilities, except in the designated places in parks and squares, which should be determined by the Metropolitan Municipality within one month of the adoption of the Ordinance.

It is the duty of the owners or operators who provide rental scooters to indicate in the mobile applications the permitted parking spaces, and that driving after the consumption of alcohol or drugs or their analogues is prohibited. Scooter rental owners or operators must remove improperly parked electric scooters no later than 4 hours on weekdays and 6 hours on weekends after the offense has been committed between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

3. The following sanctions are foreseen:

- BGN 50 (EUR 25) fine for an individual for an improperly parked electric scooter, for moving on pedestrian and other open urban spaces without pushing, as well as for driving an electric scooter at a speed higher than 25 km/h.;

- from BGN 500 to BGN 1,000 (EUR 250 to EUR 500) fine for a legal entity that does not limit the speed of a scooter to 25 km/h or to 5 km/h in parks, gardens and sidewalks for each individual case;

- from BGN 500 to BGN 1,000 fine for a legal entity that does not specify the permitted parking spaces in the application;

- a BGN 300 (EUR 150) fine for a legal entity that does not remove an improperly parked scooter any later than 4 hours on weekdays and 6 hours on weekends after the violation has been detected. In case of repeated violation, the fine is BGN 500 (EUR 250).

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