Rome to clamp down on electric scooters with new rules

City draws up new guidelines to tackle scooter chaos in capital.

Speed limits, registration plates and only for over-18s.

These are some of the new rules presented by the city of Rome to electric scooter rental companies amid attempts to bring a chaotic situation under control.

The move comes as the city prepares to decrease the number of scooters in circulation around Rome from 14,500 to 9,000 as part of a major overhaul of the sector.

The city wants to cut the number of scooter sharing companies from the current seven down to three, with a maximum of 3,000 vehicles per company, reports Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Rome plans to put out new three-year tenders within weeks, with three scooter rental companies to start under the new terms in January next year.

Under the proposals put forward by the city, the top speed limit would be 20 km per hour, down to six km per hour in pedestrian areas.

Electric scooter users would be required to take a photograph of their parked vehicle and send it to the rental company at the end of their journey, with registration compulsory using an identity card.

Companies would have their maximum hourly rental rate capped at €12 and would be required to maintain a minimum of 70 metres between parked scooters belonging to the same operator, with a maximum of five vehicles per block.

In 2020 cities across Italy welcomed large fleets of app-based electric scooters, with many urban commuters embracing the vehicles to avoid public transport due to covid-19 fears.

Since then the scooters have faced much criticism, particularly in Rome, over the way they are abandoned on streets as well as the danger they pose to motorists, pedestrians and scooter users themselves.

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