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Unlucky foursome slapped with first e-scooter fines in Finland

The quartet was stopped on Helsinki's busy Esplanade and said it was their first time using the e-scooters

kadunviereen pysäköityjä sähköpotkulautoja
E-scooters have proven to be a somewhat divisive subject in Finland. Image: Antti Lähteenmäki / Yle

Four young men were unfortunate enough to catch the eye of police officers in downtown Helsinki and get slapped with 40-euro spot fines for riding e-scooters on the pavement.

According to Helsinki police, the quartet was fined for using the sidewalk on the northern side of downtown Helsinki’s Esplanade.

"We just issued 4 x 40-euro spot fines for riding e-scooters on the pavement on the crowded Esplanade. #Helsinki," Chief Inspector Dennis Pasterstein tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.

Pasterstein said it was likely the first time that police issued a fine for using e-scooters on the sidewalk.

"We have received a great deal of feedback that people are riding bikes and e-scooters on the pavements. We monitored traffic in downtown Helsinki today and we fined four young men," Pasterstein said.

The police top brass said that the quartet hailed from Helsinki. They reportedly said it was their first time using the electric kickboards and that they were unaware that they could not be used on sidewalks.

"They were unlucky in that money they could have spent on treats were used on fines. It’s not the most heinous crime but police also have to prevent it," Pasterstein added.

Companies looking to expand e-scooter rentals across Finland are reportedly facing some hesitancy among municipalities concerned about the safety of the mini two-wheelers, with some citing the need for proper infrastructure such as dedicated lanes before rolling out the service.

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