The Malta Insurance Association on Friday has called for “immediate and forceful” action to be taken to stop more serious accidents involving electric scooters.
In a statement, the association expressed concern about “the increased risk of fatalities and serious injuries” that riders of electric scooters and other road users are facing.
Such action, it said, should include an effective educational campaign, proper enforcement and a legal obligation on all sellers of electric scooters to ensure they are registered with Transport Malta and insured against third party liability risks.
The association said that if the warning signs continue to be ignored, “more people will be hurt” and more property will be damaged in accidents that can easily be prevented with more awareness and discipline.
It said it supported the promotion of the use of more environmentally friendly means of transport that help reduce pollution produced by motor vehicles as well as traffic congestion. However, any initiatives to promote greener means of transport had to keep the safety of all road users top priority.
The association said it regularly received reports of abuse witnessed on Malta’s roads involving electric scooters.
Such abuse included electric scooters ridden in the middle of the road, wrong-way, or used on arterial roads, unlicensed privately owned electric scooters, probably without third party liability insurance and scooters not being ridden in accordance with regulations in pedestrian zones and at higher speeds than permitted.
The association said member insurers have already registered a number of accidents where riders or pedestrians were injured and vehicles damaged in collisions with electric scooters.
It added that one also had to also keep in mind that the cost of such compensation was ultimately borne by all motor policyholders as it was reflected in insurance premiums paid.