|▲ Follow the manual to ride a scooter safely (Source: Neuron)|
Changwon has a variety of electric scooter sharing services. Electric scooters are a good way to travel to a place that would be a short trip by car. Therefore, it is becoming more common to see various electric scooters such as Lime, Alpaca, and Mate standing around the school. Many students who live alone near the school or live in dormitories use electric scooters to get around campus. However, more and more pedestrians have felt threatened by electric scooters and their more frequent accidents. So it is not surprising that interest in electric scooter law is increasing.
Many students ride electric scooters on campus, but not many students follow the scooter riding rules. This is because few people are familiar with the manual, and it doesn’t help that legal policies continue to change due to the recent start of electric scooter sharing services. An electric scooter is a form of single-person transportation that uses electricity as power. It is a private transportation device with a total weight of less than 30kg, and a max speed of less than 25km/h. Therefore, it’s difficult for scooters to pass pedestrians on the sidewalk, so scooters are typically ridden in the bike lane. However, if there is no bicycle lane, scooters can be driven on the right edge of the road. Since December 10, 2020, regulations on personal mobile devices have been eased, requiring no driver's license and allowing people older than 13 to ride them. In addition, there are mandatory rules for wearing helmets, but they are hard to enforce because of a lack of punishment regulations. Therefore, in Everytime, a community of Changwon University, reports on various problems related to electric scooters have become more common. These include problems such as drunk driving with electric scooters, two people riding an electric scooter together, and parking an electric kickboard in the center of a walkway. In addition, a growing number of students are feeling in danger because of electric scooters as electric scooter accidents continue to occur.
The government has noticed the danger of electric scooters, and revised laws on personal mobility devices. According to the revised traffic laws, which takes effect on May 13, 2021, electric scooters can only be operated by people who have a driver's license. In addition, drivers should not ride with additional passengers, and must wear helmets. Also, people must drive electric scooters with a light source, and should not drive when inebriated or overly tired. A fine of up to 200,000 won shall be charged for violating the above laws. Major punishment clauses for violations such as drunk driving, sidewalk driving, pedestrian protection violations, and designated lane violations are being prepared. If harm to pedestrians occurs while driving on the sidewalk, the driver will be subject to criminal punishment regardless of insurance or agreement.
On October 19 last year, a college student rented a shared electric scooter near her home in Gwangju. She hit an 81-year-old woman while riding on a bicycle path, injuring the woman. It took the woman about six weeks to heal completely from her injuries. The perpetrator was fined 5,000,000 won for violating the traffic accident handling special law and driving without a license under the traffic laws. It should be remembered that electric scooters can make anyone a victim or perpetrator of traffic accidents at any time. To prevent this, it is necessary to be aware of the dangers of electric scooters and to be careful to drive properly.
By Jung In-hee, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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