Drunk e-scooter users in Norway risk losing their licence under new rules

The Norwegian government has announced new regulations on using electric scooters, which could see users lose their driving licence if caught using the devices while over the legal blood alcohol limit. 

Pictured is somebody plugging in their electric scooter to charge. Fro
From June it will become prohibited to use an e-scooter while drunk. Pictured is somebody plugging in their electric scooter to charge. Photo by Varla Scooter on Unsplash.

From June 15th, the rules for using electric scooters in Norway will change considerably with an age limit being introduced, and it becoming prohibited for users to ride the devices while inebriated. 

“Electric scooters are a very good means of transport in the city. But like so much else, it must be regulated to be safe to travel,” Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård told public broadcaster NRK

Users under the age of 12 will be prohibited from using the devices, and those under 15 will be required to wear a helmet. E-scooters would also be reclassified as “motor vehicles”. 

A blood alcohol limit will also be introduced for e-scooter users. The limit will be a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02. This equates to a beer, a small glass of wine, or a standard measure of a spirit. 

The BAC for scooter users will be the same as all other vehicles. Under the new rules, “the mitigating rules for loss of driving licence” will apply. 

Essentially, the rules for driving an an e-scooter while under the influence will be the same as using a moped, public broadcaster NRK writes.

This means that it will be possible for users to lose their driving licence if caught operating an e-scooter while intoxicated. However, the rules will not be as tight as for being caught drink-driving a car, NRK reports. 

Another new rule will see the requirement for liability insurance for electric scooters introduced later this year. Firms that rent the scooters will need the insurance policies from September, while owners of their own devices will need coverage from next year. 

READ ALSO: The key things you need to know about car insurance in Norway

One rule which will remain the same is the scooters being able to be ridden on pavements, something which blind, disabled, pensioner charities and organisations have been critical of, as well as roads pressure group Trygg Traffik. 

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EXPLAINED: Norway’s AutoPASS system for toll roads

Tolls stations are pretty much everywhere in Norway. Here's what you need to know about the automated AutoPass system for toll roads. 

EXPLAINED: Norway's AutoPASS system for toll roads

There are more than 300 toll stations in Norway where charges are levied for travelling on certain roads and bridges and through tunnels. 

Road tolling in Norway dates back to the late eighties and early nineties when Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim introduced toll rings to finance infrastructure and decrease congestion. 

Fast forward to today, and you’ll need to pay a toll to travel into, or to and from, most of Norway’s cities and large towns. Today there are toll rings surrounding Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Haugesund, Bergen, Askøy, Bodø, Harstad, Grenland, Førde and Trondheim. 

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens Vegvesen) has a map to help you plan your route and figure out how many toll roads you’ll use. 

Regardless of where the driver or car is from, you’ll be required to pay tolls when travelling through Norway. 

How does the AutoPASS system work?

Luckily, you won’t constantly be pulling into toll booths to pay charges, as all levies are charged automatically via the AutoPASS system, which the Norwegian Public Roads Administration operates. 

All toll operators in the country are a part of the AutoPASS system.

To pay with AutoPASS, you will need to order a payment tag from several providers. You can click for a list of providers here

Typically, you’ll need to pay a 200 kroner deposit to receive a toll tag. Once your contract with a provider ends, you’ll get the money back. 

Paying with AutoPass

Once you’ve selected a provider and registered, you will be sent a tag, which you attach to the inside of your windscreen, near the top. 

When you’ve got a toll tag, you will receive an invoice automatically when you pass through a toll station. 

You will receive a 20 percent discount on tolls compared to not having a tag installed, and depending on your agreement, you may receive further discounts and benefits. Typically though, greener cars will be cheaper. 

Every time you pass through a toll, you’ll receive an invoice. However, most providers put all the tolls incurred on a trip, during a day, or another time period into one invoice, rather than you having to pay many individual bills. 

What happens if I don’t have a tag? 

If you don’t have a tag, tolls will still be automatic. However, toll stations will instead read your number plate rather than the tag. As a result, you will be sent the invoice to your address instead. One big downside is that you will not receive the 20 percent discount. If you live in Norway, this cost can add significantly over the course of a year if you drive regularly.