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Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

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OSLO

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

A 68-year-old man died from injuries sustained in an electric scooter accident in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, police confirmed on Tuesday. The man becomes the first person in Oslo to die in an accident involving an e-scooter and the third in Norway. 

'We feared it would happen': Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider
A bank of electric scooters. Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

The scooter user, who has not been named, was rushed to Oslo University Hospital on Saturday and put on life support following the accident. 

“It is a tragic accident that has had fatal consequences,” Knut Nandrup from Oslo Police district told state broadcaster NRK.

The accident took place on a pedestrian path in Vollebekk. No other vehicles or people were involved in the accident. 

The man was found on the path by a passerby in a car who stopped to administer first aid until emergency services arrived.

On Monday, his family decided to end the 68-year-old’s life-extending care when it became apparent that he would not recover from his injuries. 

“He had massive head injuries, and his life was unable to be saved,” Nandrup said. 

“Life support was turned off because there was no chance to save his life. This decision was made in consultation with the man’s relatives,” he added. 

Henrik Siverts, one of several doctors from Oslo University Hospital who previously called for the devices to be more regulated, described the incident as tragic. 

He also said that while the incident was unfortunate, it was not entirely unexpected. 

“We have feared that something like this would happen for a long time. It is perhaps strange that it has not happened before now,” Siverts told NRK.

Scooter rental companies and local authorities have been under increasing pressure to tighten the rules and regulations for the devices following a surge in accidents

Oslo Municipality has previously committed to cutting the number of scooters in the capital and introducing curfews and designated pick up and drop off points for the devices. The new changes will come into effect in September.

REVEALED: How Oslo will crackdown on electric scooters

Police have appealed to any potential witnesses who may have witnessed the accident or been in the area in the time leading up to the incident to come forward. 

“We know little about what happened. There were no direct witnesses to the incident,” Nandrup said. 

Nandrup also urged scooter users to wear a helmet. 

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