First city in Germany to ban the hire of e-scooters
News + Trends

First city in Germany to ban the hire of e-scooters

Maike Jensen
Translation: machine translated

E-scooters can be found on pavements, car parks or in front of shops - and often also in places where they cause accidents. Gelsenkirchen is now the first German city to ban rental e-scooters from Tier, Bolt and Co. from the streets.

E-scooters polarise opinion: For some, they are a popular means of transport, for others a disruptive factor. In Gelsenkirchen, the latter predominates, which is why the city has now banned e-scooters for hire. The scooters are predominantly misused and sometimes cause serious accidents in pedestrian zones and on pavements, according to city spokesperson Martin Schulmann in an interview with the Tagesschau. Privately owned e-scooters are not affected by the decision.

The ban on rental devices was preceded by a request to local rental companies such as Bolt and Tier: They were urged by the city to better record the identity of vehicle hirers. Loading a driving licence or ID card into the app would have made it easier to prosecute offences. The identity check was a requirement for the continuation of the contract between the city and the operator. The old contract expired in March. When the companies failed to fulfil the requirement, the local administrative court decided to ban their e-scooters from public traffic areas in Gelsenkirchen in an urgent decision. The rental companies now had to remove all scooters.

Further bans could follow

Since they conquered the cities a few years ago, the number of traffic accidents involving e-scooters has increased.
The scooters also end up in rivers, on railway tracks or are left in inappropriate places. It therefore remains to be seen whether other cities will follow suit with a ban. Paris already banned e-scooters for hire last year. They are also the subject of much debate elsewhere. In Hamburg, for example, e-scooters are a constant source of controversy and their use on underground trains has been banned since last August. Switzerland had opposed a ban in 2023, but the number of accidents is rising here too, as the traffic accident statistics show.

E-scooters are still in demand

Although their use on the road is not without danger, e-scooters are still very popular, as a colleague from the purchasing department told me. According to this, sales in the e-scooter segment increased by five per cent from 2021 to 2022, and by a further nine per cent in 2023. According to Galaxus buyers, models in the lower price ranges are currently in particularly high demand again, such as the Xiaomi Mi 1S. In the numerous positive reviews, our buyers praise the good value for money.

Of course, caution is advised when driving. Although it is not mandatory in either Switzerland or Germany, wearing a helmet on e-scooters is strongly recommended. In a previous article, I told you which helmets scored well in the last Stiftung Warentest test.

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Header image: Peeradontax/Shutterstock

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