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21 June, 2024
 
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Gaps in scooter legislation spark safety concerns

Journalist's accident highlights urgency for legislative reform, government pledges action

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In the aftermath of a recent accident involving a journalist and an electric scooter, safety concerns regarding these vehicles are under scrutiny. The incident, to be discussed in the upcoming Road Safety Council meeting, has shed light on significant gaps in safety regulations surrounding electric scooters manufactured locally.

Last Wednesday morning, according to reporter Marios Christofi, journalist Dimitris Dermatas was riding his motorcycle on Grivas Digenis Ave. when he was cut off by a scooter, resulting in a serious leg injury as he attempted to evade the collision.

Dermatas' accident has underscored deficiencies in current safety legislation, implemented about a year ago, with municipalities tasked with enforcement. Despite the legislation's provisions on scooter traffic areas, age limits, cubic capacity, speed, and mandatory helmet and phosphor vest use, gaps remain apparent.

Compounding the issue, Dermatas faces challenges in seeking compensation due to ambiguities in vehicle categorization. The journalist, who was left with substantial medical expenses, expressed frustration at the lack of clarity in the law, exacerbating his ordeal.

Minister of Transport Alexis Vafiadis has pledged to address the regulatory gaps at the upcoming Road Safety Council meeting, seeking input from relevant stakeholders including the Police and Ministry of Justice.

Marinos Mousiuttas, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, indicated that no formal proposals for legislative amendments have been presented, stressing the need for consensus, particularly from insurance companies.

Police spokesman, Christos Andreou, acknowledged the legislative loophole, however, he affirmed that accidents involving electric scooters are treated as traffic accidents, with legal proceedings initiated against the at-fault party.

While calls for legislative reform echo, the process remains contingent on proposals from the relevant Ministry or parliamentary bills, highlighting the complexity of addressing emerging safety concerns in the evolving landscape of transportation regulations.

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