Can you park a e-scooter in any place you choose? The authorities respond
E-scooters have multiplied explosively in the streetscape, and their parking contrary to the Road Traffic Act has puzzled not only the road users but also the city administrators and other authorities.
Chief Superintendent Tuomo Kallio of the National Police Board repeats the traffic regulations related to the parking of a light electric vehicle.
"Most e-scooters are light electric vehicles, which are covered by the same traffic regulations as any other vehicles," Chief Superintendent Katajisto points out.
"They must be parked on the right side of the road, but in population centres, it is also possible to stop and park on the left side of a two-way street, if the parking does not endanger and disturb other traffic."
During this summer, there has been a lot of unclarity, especially as to the question whether the e-scooter can be parked on pavements.
"Yes, it is permitted. You can park them on a pavement or cycle path under the same conditions as a cycle or a moped," Mario Immonen, Specialist of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom adds.
"However, in these cases the electric vehicle must be parked aligned with the pavement and cycle path, as close to the border as possible. The light electric vehicle must not be parked in the middle of the pavement or cycle path in a way to block others from moving, and under no circumstances so that they endanger safety or impede traffic," Jukka Hopeavuori, Traffic Control Expert of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency further specifies.
Parking a light electric vehicle in violation of the Road Traffic Act is deemed to be a parking violation or a traffic offence. The Police and the municipal traffic control authorities can intervene with incorrect parking and issue a parking ticket. If the parking endangers traffic, the consequence can be a fine. Moreover, an incorrectly parked e-scooter can be stowed away and taken to a storage facility if the parking endangers traffic safety.
The Police, Traficom and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency emphasise that one of the major obligations of the driver of a light electric vehicle is to respect the Road Traffic Act and observe the care and caution called for by the circumstances. Traffic is safe and smooth when each participating in it follows the traffic regulations.
In fact, the authorities hope that they need not take any harsher action than informing and communicating and that road users would pay due attention to the choice of the places where they leave their e-scooters, parking them and other light electric vehicles in line with the regulations.
News updated 28.7.2022. The original wording has been clarified regarding the definition of e-scooters. Most electric scooters are light electric vehicles. E-scooters with a design speed of 15 km/h or less may also be considered as pedestrian assisted or substitute devices, where the user is considered a pedestrian.
- The reference ”officially known as light electric vehicles” has been removed from the first sentence.
- The original wording of the first quote was "An e-scooter, which is a light electric vehicle, is covered by the same traffic regulations as any other vehicle”.