Istanbul, electric scooters

Turkey to regulate the use of electric scooters in cities

Fear of coronavirus on public transport has caused more and more people to use electric scooters, but these have already caused several traffic accidents.

The Turkish government is studying to establish a new legal framework to regulate the use of the increasingly popular electric scooters and how they can circulate in the city, as announced by the Turkish Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Adil Karaismailoğlu, in the midst of a boom of the use of bicycles and scooters due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“People use these scooters for driving, and legally it is a passenger transport. So a legal adjustment is necessary,” said Karaismailoğlu. “Lately the use of these electric scooters, Martı, has increased. It is a good thing and has caught our attention. We are brainstorming about the legal regulations, but it is not yet clear,” the minister explained.

Martı (Seagull, in Turkish) is the name of a shared transport mobile application established in early 2019 in Istanbul; users of the app can locate the electric scooter closest to their position and use it as they wish. At the end, they can leave it again in any place that suits them for the next user.

The problem arises when these electric scooters must travel through one of the cities with worst traffic in the world such as Istanbul. Many of these scooters have been involved in traffic accidents with cars, so as they become more popular the need to regulate their use arises to guarantee the safety of both users of this new transports and drivers of cars.

In this regard, the minister stressed that in addition to electric scooters, the coronavirus pandemic has also caused more and more people to use the bicycle to avoid using public transport (for fear of contagion), something the government supports. “We are going to continue with the investments to promote the use of bicycles. That more and more people prefer to use the bicycle is something that benefits the city,” he said.