Skip to content
The article is more than 2 years old

Speeds lowered on electric scooters in hopes of reducing late-night accidents

The speeds on electric scooters will be lowered this weekend between 11pm and 6am in restaurant-heavy areas of Helsinki.

Speeding will be impossible this weekend on Voi's electric scooters. Image: Laura Ukkonen / Lehtikuva
Yle News

Swedish electric scooter company Voi plans to automatically reduce the speeds on its scooters this weekend in areas of Helsinki that have large concentrations of restaurants and bars.

Electric scooters have been subject to debate due to a rise in accidents. During the Midsummer holidays, Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) said late-night e-scooter accidents kept emergency doctors busy throughout the weekend.

"More people probably ride bicycles in Helsinki, but they still cause less than half as many accidents as scooters. Maybe people have better control of their bikes," Meilahti emergency department doctor Kustaa Lehtonen told Yle.

Electric scooter company Voi intends to test whether the number of nightly accidents can be reduced by lowering the speed on the scooters.

For example, this weekend, the speed will automatically drop down to 15 kilometres per hour at night on Mannerheimintie, Bulevardi and Helsinginkatu. Currently, the scooters can be driven at a speed of 25 kilometres per hour.

Reduced speeds will be enforced on weekends between 11pm and 6am.

"Unfortunately, according to hospitals in the metropolitan area, there have been many accidents on the weekends, which have involved a combination of alcohol use and electric scooters. Although drunk driving is against our terms of use, we cannot completely prevent it. That is why we are pilot testing reduced speeds in Helsinki on weekends," said Reetta Alastalo, Voi's Chief Operating Officer, in a press release.

The trial is the first of its kind in Europe for an e-scooter company. In Turku, lower speeds are currently being tested on streets favoured by pedestrians, but the Helsinki experiment is the first time speeds have been reduced according to the time of day.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) said on Sunday that his government plans tougher penalties and other means to ensure that gang-related crime in Finland does not explode as it has in Sweden.