Skip to content

Ministry proposes intoxication, parking laws for bike, e-scooter riders

Finland already has laws against drunk cycling, but they are not easily enforced.

Yksinäinen sähköpotkulauta risteyksessä kesäisessä kaupungissa, taustalla pyöräilijöitä ja autoja.
File photo of parked e-scooter and cyclists in Hämeenlinna, in August 2022. Image: Tiina Kokko / Yle
Yle News

If a new ministry proposal is approved, police will soon be able to breathalyse and fine cyclists and e-scooter users for riding while intoxicated.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has submitted a law proposal which would limit the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of people on bikes and e-scooters to 0.5 promille (mg per ml of blood).

There has been a good deal of discussion about limiting BAC levels for people using light vehicles, particularly for riders of e-scooters. Last summer it was reported that around half of the accidents on the battery-powered devices in Helsinki were linked to the use of alcohol.

The ministry also wants to grant officers the right to stop cyclists and e-scooter riders to breathalyse and carry out rapid drug tests. Police do not currently have such legal powers.

If the proposal is implemented, drunk cycling or e-scooter riding would become a crime that carries penalties of day fines and up to three months in jail.

E-scooter parking

The ministry's law proposal also includes new parking rules for e-scooter users. The popularity of rentable e-scooters has grown exponentially over the past few years in a number of Finnish cities.

However, when e-scooter renters reach their destination, they often leave the devices strewn across pedestrian walkways and other precarious, inconvenient places. There are no hard laws on the books about e-scooter parking.

Earlier this year, the City of Helsinki announced plans to designate some car parking spaces in the downtown as e-scooter parking spots.

If Parliament approves the ministry's proposal, the laws are expected to go into effect by the summer of 2024.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia