Driving license directive

October 2023  


Mandating users of e-bike and e-scooters to have a Driving Licence is detrimental to the sector, Europe’s climate ambition, does not result in safety gains and would harm the freedom of movement as many users rely on shared micro-mobility as a way to commute.

Shared micro-mobility services offer alternatives to private car ownership for persons that want to diversify their mobility patterns and use sustainable modes that occupy less urban space. In addition, shared mobility empowers citizens to move across urban areas without the need of obtaining a driving licence.

Micro-mobility can act as last mile connection to increase the reach of public transport – adding a driving licence would be a barrier to this extended reach and would restrict accessibility to public transport and overall connectivity. Moreover, obtaining driving licences results in significant costs, which especially young users may not be able to afford. Mandating driving licences would therefore reduce the mobility options available.

Shared e-scooters and e-bikes have a maximum speed of 20 or 25 km/h in the EU, which is lower than other means of transport and already one of the few transport modes that have a speed limit that users cannot exceed, unlike bicycles or cars. Operators of shared micro-mobility are already constantly working towards educating users by working together with cities, launching individual campaigns or online courses. 

Strengthening cities’ mobility portfolio by improving public transport and seizing the opportunities of shared mobility is a crucial element for cities to reach their climate ambitions. At the same time, shared mobility requires less space, energy, raw materials and therefore contributes to reducing air pollution and emissions (Clean Cities Campaign 2023).

Micro-Mobility for Europe welcomes efforts that update training and testing requirements especially for drivers of cars with the goal of raising awareness and attention to the road safety needs of vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists and users of micro- mobility devices. Improving safety in urban areas requires investments in infrastructure, speed limits and enforcement of rules.

Follow-up on cycling declaration

October 2023 

 

Micro-Mobility welcomes the launch of European Cycling Declaration as an important step in moving the focus of policy-makers towards more sustainable and efficient modes of transport, and can facilitate the uptake of alternatives to privately-owned cars in urban areas. 

Investments in infrastructure are crucial and an enabler to boost the uptake of mobility options that reduce dependency on private car ownership. This empowers cities to reduce air pollution and noise while offering less resource intense mobility options that require less urban space. 

While the European Parliament and the Council are reviewing the Declaration, we call on the institutions to acknowledge that boosting the uptake of cycling also benefits other sustainable modes, like shared micro-mobility. Especially the Chapters on Creating more and better cycling infrastructure, Improving road safety and security and Supporting multimodality and cycling tourism should include references to shared mobility or micro-mobility. 


  • Creating more and better cycling infrastructure: The improvement of existing and investment in new cycling infrastructure will also benefit shared micro-mobility, as users share the same lanes and require protection from motorised traffic. Both user groups are vulnerable road users.

  • Improving road safety and security: Micro-mobility users are vulnerable road users and benefit from measures taken to increase the safety of cyclists. As for all traffic participants, it is crucial that competent authorities enforce the road safety rules, to ensure a safe coexistence of modes.

  • Supporting multimodality and cycling tourism: Like bicycles, micro-mobility serves as first and last mile means of transport and complement public transport and can stimulate tourism. At the same time, micro-mobility helps to expand public transport’s catchment area by improving connectivity and offering an alternative to private car ownership.

MMfE response to launch of the European cycling declaration

October 2023  


Today’s Launch of the European Cycling Declaration is an important step in moving the focus of policy-makers towards more sustainable and efficient modes of transport, and can facilitate the uptake of alternatives to privately-owned cars in urban areas.

Micro-Mobility for Europe strongly supports the draft Declaration, and we are pleased to see that the European Commission acknowledged that better cycling infrastructure will also benefit micro-mobility solutions. This is particularly relevant, as cyclists and shared micro-mobility users rely on the same infrastructure. 

Promoting investments in cycling infrastructure and acknowledging the role cycling can play for first/last-mile transport and complementing public transport are aspects that also apply to shared micro-mobility. In the process of drawing up the Declaration, Micro-Mobility for Europe has raised these proposals as part of its work in the European Commission Expert Group on Urban Mobility.

We look forward to engaging with all involved actors in making the Declaration a success – beyond cycling.

MMfE position on helmets in Italy

July 2023  


To read this article in Italian click here.

Micro-Mobility for Europe is an industry coalition that aims to provide safe and sustainable transportation options for all, and support policy measures that can enhance the safety of micro-mobility riders. We call on decision-makers in the EU, national, and local authorities to prioritize safe infrastructure and promote the use of non-policy measures to encourage personal helmet use to achieve our collective Vision Zero goals and objectives, by moving as close as possible to zero severe injuries and fatalities.

While we believe that mandatory helmet laws are a good faith effort to increase rider safety, growing evidence supports that mandatory helmet laws are not proven to effectively increase safety and may have unintended consequences, including a reduction in ridership and the associated safety benefits of higher ridership.

Data from more than 16 million trips over 32 million kilometers taken in 2022 in Italy, reveals that the rate of injuries requiring medical treatment for e-scooter riders was 2.3 per million kilometers, which is 36.4% lower than e-bikes, 64.5% lower than the previous year, and 45% lower than the EU average. MMfE is working together with third parties to validate results. In addition, there was no fatal injury involving shared e-scooters. This indicates that the safety of e-scooter riders in Italy is improving as ridership grows.

As rides increase, and Italian policymakers seek to make riding safer, we recommend focusing on the key contributors to rider safety, such as reducing vehicle speed limits and road infrastructure, as studies show that mandatory helmet laws do not effectively increase rider safety. In fact, a 14-year analysis of the effects of Canada’s mandatory helmet law found that “the rate of [injury] decline was not appreciably altered on introduction of legislation”,suggesting that helmet laws alone are not sufficient to improve safety outcomes.

If Italy would move forward with the obligation for e-scooter users to wear helmets, the country will be among the first Member States in the EU that imposes such restrictions which may result in a spillover effect. While the intention may be positive, this could have a detrimental effect on the uptake of sustainable modes of transport.

Moreover, for the majority of cyclist injuries, research shows that over 80%, would not have been prevented with helmet usage. Instead, the environment in which riders operate, including the presence of motorised traffic and the quality of cycling infrastructure, plays the most crucial role in the overall risk for crashes, injury, and death. Therefore, investing in safe micro-mobility infrastructure, such as segregated cycle lanes and a bicycle network, would be more effective in improving rider safety.

Mandatory helmet laws also have the potential to reduce the number of riders, diminishing the “safety in numbers” effect. Research indicates that higher cycling mode share is associated with lower hospitalisation rates. As seen in Australia, implementing helmet mandates discourages people from riding, resulting in a decline in ridership, modal shift and the associated safety benefits.

In conclusion, we believe that mandatory helmet laws for e-scooters are contrary to the EU Commission’s goals of decarbonising urban transportation and creating safer streets. In addition, the uptake of shared micro-mobility services also benefits the uptake and safety of other modes, such as cycling. We advocate for a holistic approach that prioritises safe infrastructure and encourages helmet use through alternative policies. By adopting a safe systems approach and working collaboratively with cities and policymakers, we can create a safer and more accessible micro-mobility environment for all.

Injury rates on shared e-scooters fall by 19% in 2022, according to new data from Micro-Mobility for Europe

Micro-Mobility for Europe welcomes timely TRL study on road safety but calls for further regulatory discussions

June 2023  


While demand for shared micro-mobility services in Europe continued to increase in 2022 with 39% uptake compared to 2021, the rate of e-scooter injuries requiring medical treatment has fallen by nearly 20% compared to 2021 (from 5.1/mio km in 2021 to 4.1/mio km in 2022). The risk of fatality has decreased by 17.7% compared to 2021.

When comparing transport modes, MMfE data shows that the risk of injury requiring medical treatment is comparable between shared e-scooters and shared e-bikes, with 4.09/mio km and 4.15/mio km respectively. In Germany, where the total amount of km cycled can be deduced from an available ministerial report (1), we observe a similar risk of a fatal incident on a shared e-scooter (0.013/ Mio km) as on bicycles (0.011/ Mio km) (2). According to aggregated data from AXA on shared e-scooters in Europe between 2019 and 2022, the risk of accidents is 20 times lower for shared e-scooters than for mopeds.

Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE) new data report takes into account over 350 million e-scooter trips over a total of 640 million kilometres, and 28 million e-bike journeys over 75 million kilometres. The data is based upon reports from users and follows the same reporting methodology as previous incident reporting from MMfE.

The industry group behind the data release has been working to make e-scooter and e-bike information more accessible. Earlier in 2023, MMfE published the first-of-its kind data from 2021 on shared e-scooters in an effort to contribute evidence to the public discussion around road safety – a critical priority for all MMfE members. In the newly released incident data from 2022, MMfE is including data on shared e-bikes in addition to e-scooters.

“We hope these insights will help inform conversations and road safety policies in the EU that reduce incident risks for vulnerable road users, such as shared micro-mobility riders, and we are committed to continue working closely with authorities to do so,” said Sebastian Schlebusch, Initiative Lead at MMfE.


(1) BMVI: Mobilität in Deutschland MiD (2017), online under https://bmdv.bund.de/SharedDocs/DE/Anlage/G/mid-ergebnisbericht.pdf
(2) STATISTA: https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/1041872/umfrage/getoetete-fahrradfahrer-im-strassenverkehr-in-deutschland/

 

Use of helmets

April 2023

 

The micro-mobility industry is dedicated to providing safe and sustainable transportation options for all. As supporters of sustainable transportation and a safer urban environment, we believe that there are policy measures that can enhance the safety of micro-mobility riders. We call on decision-makers in EU, national, and local authorities to prioritise safe infrastructure and encourage helmet use through alternative policies to achieve our collective Vision Zero goals and objectives.

Mandatory helmet laws for micro-mobility users have been proposed as a way to improve safety for riders. However, there is growing evidence that mandatory helmet laws are not proven to address core safety issues and may have unintended consequences.

At MMfE, we are committed to working with EU, national, and local authorities to invest in all areas of safety. This includes encouraging but not mandating helmet use, collaborating with authorities to invest in safe micro-mobility infrastructure, and increasing the adoption of bike and e- scooter usage. We strongly believe that making helmets mandatory for micro-mobility users is contrary to the EU Commission’s goal of decarbonising urban transportation and creating safer streets.

 

Helmet Mandates Do Not Improve Safety for Riders

Mandatory helmet laws do not address the key contributors that impact the safety of micro-mobility riders, notably car use and road infrastructure. A study in Canada investigating the association of helmet legislation and admissions to hospital for cycling-related head injuries among young people and adults found that when baseline trends in cycling-related injury rates are considered, the overall rates of head injuries are not appreciably altered by helmet legislation.

One reason for this may be due to the fact that head-related injuries and deaths only account for a small portion of overall collisions. While helmets are effective at reducing injuries to the head and face, over 80% of cyclist injuries would have not have been avoided with helmet usage. In a study of all police-reported road incidents across 93 European cities, the introduction of shared e-scooters increased incidents by 8.2% in cities with below-median cycling infrastructure but did not increase incidents in cities with above-median infrastructure.

The environment in which cyclists ride, and their potential exposure to motorised traffic, is one of the biggest factors for the overall risk for crashes, injury, and death.

Improving transport infrastructure for micro-mobility users has the potential to significantly improve cyclist safety, including the implementation of segregated cycle lanes and the development of a bicycle network. Legislative attention should therefore focus on policies that discourage the use of private cars, reduce speed limits, and improve road infrastructure for micro-mobility users.

 

Less Riders Make Our Roads Less Safe

Mandatory helmet laws have the potential to significantly reduce bicycle and e-scooter usage, reducing the “safety in numbers” effect. Researchers have found that the most impactful safety measure revolves around the idea of “safety in numbers”, whereby rider safety improves as drivers are more used to people riding on bicycles and scooters.

Higher cycling mode share is consistently associated with lower hospitalisation rates, while helmet legislation is not associated with lower hospitalisation rates for brain, head, scalp, skull, face or neck injuries.

Almost 60% of all Dutch cyclists claim they would stop cycling if forced to wear a helmet, and 50% of Dutch people would be less likely to buy an e-bike, reducing the safety in numbers effect. In Australia, where mandatory adult helmet laws were introduced regionally between 1990 and 1992, bike count and safety data from the time showed that helmet laws actively discouraged people from riding a bike while producing no notable safety gains.

 

Mandating Helmets Does Not Necessarily Lead to Increased Helmet Use

In Brisbane, where helmets are mandatory for e-scooter riders an observation study revealed nearly 40% of shared e-scooter riders do not wear a properly fastened helmet (no helmet or helmet not properly fastened). This demonstrates that mandating helmet use does not guarantee increased or protective helmet use.

Encouraging helmet use appears more effective as an intervention, than mandating helmets. Rather, it is the countries that have promoted helmet use as part of their national road safety plans that have consistently achieved the highest helmet use impact. For example, Norway does not mandate helmets for cyclists but has achieved relatively high rates of helmet use by actively promoting their use through cheaper, strategic policies. This indicates that mandatory helmet laws are not required to have a positive impact on rates of helmet use.

 

Alternative Policy Measures

Instead of mandatory helmet laws, we suggest alternative policy measures to enhance the safety of micro-mobility users. These measures include:

  • Investment in safe micro-mobility infrastructure, including segregated cycle lanes and a bicycle network, to improve safety for micro-mobility users.

  • Encouragement of helmet use through cheaper, strategic policies, such as discounts on helmets or helmet hire schemes.

  • Reduction of car use and inner-city speed limits to improve safety for micro-mobility users.

 

Conclusion

Instead of focusing on helmet mandates, we urge legislative attention to be placed on adopting a safe systems approach in neutralising the risk to riders by reducing and eliminating the hazard at a systems level. As an industry, we are committed to partnering with cities and policymakers to create safe and accessible transportation options for all.

MMfE response to ETSC report

Micro-mobility solutions can help boost smart and sustainable mobility in cities

April 2023  


Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE) members take road safety very seriously and all operators are committed to ensuring the highest level of safety, from vehicle conception to rider education and safety solutions.

We welcome the recent report of the European Transport Safety Council proposing a series of policy measures related to scooter safety. We are encouraged by the growing focus on the safety of scooter riders as well as the acknowledgement that they are vulnerable road users. Moreover, we welcome the call of ETSC’s Executive Director on cities to put in place networks of separate cycle lanes and appropriate speed limits.

When adopting new policies to protect e-scooter riders and other vulnerable road users, investments in safe cycling and walking infrastructure are essential. This need to act has been identified by policy-makers: the European Parliament’s Resolution for a Cycling Strategy and the TRAN Committee’s Resolution on the New Urban Mobility Framework have in the last months identified that segregated infrastructure is a key enabler for urban road safety. The ITF’s Safe Micromobility report finds that ‘governments can have the most significant impact on traffic safety through investment in infrastructure’.

Besides the need for infrastructure, there is a lack of available and comparable data on incidents involving e-scooters. In a first-of-its- kind effort, MMfE aggregated data covering more than 200 million trips from 2021 shows that the risk of incidents that require medical treatment declined by 60% compared to 2019, and shared e-scooters have a twice lower fatality risk when compared with private e- scooters.

Moreover, there is no safety without enforcement. MMfE believes that it is of utmost importance to ensure that rules for all traffic participants are clear, well-communicated, and consistently enforced by the responsible authorities.

In the following, Micro-Mobility for Europe is providing its view on the policy recommendations identified by the report, many of which MMfE fully supports, while some require more research, evidence or industry consultation.

See the full report here.

Press statement following vote in Paris against continuation of shared e-scooters

MicroMobility EU Parliament

April 2023  


Micro-Mobility for Europe regrets the result of the referendum held on 02 April 2023 in Paris, during which citizens voted against the continuation of shared e-scooters. Due to the low turnout, a small group of people have had a disproportionate influence on the city’s urban mobility system.

Discontinuing shared e-scooters in Paris will come at the cost of many citizens who wish to diversify their travel beyond private car ownership. Moving away from shared e-scooters isolates Paris from the rest of the world with major capitals like Washington, Madrid, Rome, London, Berlin and Vienna further enabling this form of decarbonised transport. E-scooters are a concrete solution based on the objectives of the COP21 agreements–signed in Paris, as independent research shows that mode shift from motorised vehicles accounts for almost 20%. As the latest IPCC report from March 2023 shows, changing mobility patterns is a tool for all citizens to prevent a climate catastrophe and availability of shared micro-mobility is part of the solution.

In addition, we fear that such a restrictive approach will also impact the sustainable transportation goals, as outlined in our Joint Letter from November 2022, co-signed by Transport & Environment’s Clean Cities Campaign and the Urban Intergroup from the European Parliament.

In the past weeks and months, city officials have repeatedly voiced criticism towards shared e-scooters but have neglected evidence that should guide balanced policy-making. We regret that the debate in Paris about the availability of shared e-scooter services has been led by emotions rather than facts.

study commissioned by the City of Paris, completed a year ago but only published in March 2023, shows that shared e-scooters are one of the safest mobility options in Paris. Additionally, MMfE incident data from 2021 taking into account more than 240 million shared e-scooter trips reveals that privately owned e-scooters are twice as often involved in severe accidents than shared e-scooters. Consequently, discontinuing shared e-scooters in Paris may lead to an uptake of private e-scooters, likely leading to more incidents. Overall, MMfE data shows that the risk of incidents is already significantly lower compared to 2019.

Micro-mobility for Europe is committed to working in partnership with authorities towards the adoption of a regulatory framework that encourages the uptake of micro-mobility – a sector that has great potential for improving the living conditions of European citizens and creating safer and more sustainable cities.

MMfE is the alliance of shared micro-mobility providers of e-bikes and e-scooters. Members include Bird, Bolt, Dott, Lime, Superpedestrian, TIER and Voi.

MMfE position on multimodal digital mobility services

March 2023

 

Micro-mobility for Europe supports the creation of more sustainable and connected mobility systems by providing urban citizens with flexible, low-carbon and accessible mobility solutions such as e-scooters and e-bikes. It has an important role to play in reducing cities’ reliance on cars, notably by conveniently supporting the public transport system for the first and last mile. One way to achieve this is by integrating in Mobility-as-a-Service platforms, aiming to combine various transport modes into a single user interface.

Whilst MMfE strongly believes in the potential of MaaS to green our transport networks, our experience with such integrations has demonstrated that user adoption for MaaS solutions remains demonstrably low and integrations can be a complex and costly task for Mobility Service Providers (MSPs).

MMfE believes that setting the right policy framework can help overcome these challenges and increase the environmental and social value of MaaS. To achieve this, we believe that the proposal on MDMS should take into account some contextual elements.

You will find the full position paper here.

MMfE requests the rejection of Dutch technical regulations for LEVs

Micro-Mobility for Europe elects its first co-Chairs Image

March 2023

 

Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE), joins LEVA-EU in requesting the rejection of the Dutch technical regulations. We also support LEVA-EU’s renewed call for a European harmonised legislative framework for light electric vehicles, outside of Regulation 168/2013 and the Machinery Directive/Regulation.

MMfE is the alliance of shared micro-mobility providers of e-bikes and e-scooters. Members include Bird, Bolt, Dott, Lime, Superpedestrian, TIER and Voi. 

The absence of a unified approach and harmonised regulation for light electric vehicles is causing great legal uncertainty in the market, with direct impacts on Europe’s transition to sustainable transport networks. Not only does the current market fragmentation make it very complex and costly for shared micro-mobility operators to run their services by requiring different vehicle specifications and certification procedures, but it also creates great uncertainty for users in the traffic and road use rules that apply to different micro-mobility modes. 

The ITF stipulates that, in order to achieve a sustainable and resilient transport transport mix, active travel, micro-mobility and shared mobility are needed to account for close to 60% of the world’s global transport activity by 2050. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the European Commission lays a regulatory environment that encourages the uptake of such modes across all Member States.

It is regrettable that member states are forced to design national level regulations that are not up to market standards due to an absence of European legislation.

Micro-Mobility for Europe reaffirms its commitment to working together with decision-makers and other relevant players, to establish an EU legislative framework that supports the continuous development of sustainable transport solutions across Europe.