The Town Hall of Prague 1 has revealed it is effectively banning the use of rental scooters from the city center.
New regulations will stipulate that electric scooters can only be used in bike lanes and on the roads with other vehicles.
They can currently be used on pavements and pedestrian areas as long as they keep to 10km/hr.
Depending on their speed and power, they can be viewed as equivalent to bicycles or motor vehicles. Many pedestrians find the machines irritating or dangerous, and local authorities in Prague 2 District have begun criminal proceedings against operating company Lime for creating a public menace.
According to the new law, the ban will not affect bicycles, classic e-bikes or non-motorized scooters.
“I discussed the proposal with Adam Scheinherr, Prague’s Deputy Mayor for Transportation, and it was finally unanimously approved by the Transport Commission,” said Prague 1 Councilor for Transport David Skála (Praha 1 sobě).
City Hall claims that the company is too lenient and has failed to adhere to the conditions stipulated in the memorandum, such as providing scooter-storage areas or speedily removing poorly-parked scooters from places around Prague.
“Lime did not meet any of our requirements for safety, so after a year of hard negotiations we have to take the next step and we are ready to restrict pedestrian zones in the city center,” added Skála.
As drivers need a permit to enter a pedestrian zone with a car, Prague citizens with their own electric scooters will have to obtain a similar permit to drive in the city center.
Lime put out 1,500 e-scooters on the streets of Prague in September of last year and the sharing service was a big hit with both young Czechs and tourists.
Last year, the Municipal Police in Prague 2 sanctioned 194 cyclists and scooters; from the beginning of this year to the 15th of September 1048 offenses were committed according to the Town Hall.