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Scooters In Rome Are A Problem That Needs Attention

Scooters have been a controversial topic in Rome, which has led to a growing backlash against them with calls for tighter regulations or even city-wide bans.

Scooters In Rome - Around Town

E-Scooters Around Rome

Some of the problems that have been reported with e-scooters in Rome include:

  • Disorganized and Haphazard Parking: E-scooters are typically left “parked” in inconvenient or unsafe locations, such as on sidewalks or in doorways, causing obstacles and hazards for pedestrians, people with mobility issues, cyclists and cars.

  • Dangerous Use Of E-Scooters: Some users have been reported to drive the e-scooters in a reckless manner, disregarding traffic rules and putting themselves and others at risk of accidents. These include multiple riders and weaving in and out of traffic in a dangerous manner.

  • Maintenance Issues: Some e-scooter companies have been criticized for not properly maintaining their fleets, leading to broken or malfunctioning vehicles left on the streets. It is common to see them laying all over the sidewalks in the morning causing problems for pedestrians.

Some Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Scooters In Rome

Before we dive too deeply into the problems of e-scooters in Rome, let’s get some very frequently asked questions out of the way first.

Does Rome Have Electric Scooters?

Yes, there is a very wide variety of electric scooters (e-scooters) available for rent in Rome. They are scattered all over the city, on the sidewalks, in the parks and in the streets. I can only speak to my experiences in the historical center (Centro Storico), but I understand that they are also in the more suburban parts of the city.

Are Scooters In Rome Safe?

In my opinion, no. Given the traffic, road conditions, driver’s temperament, buses and cobblestones, I don’t think I will ever rent one, no matter how convenient. I agree they look fun, but I’ve heard enough horror stories to know that walking, taking buses and riding subways are right for me.

Scooters In Rome - Obstacles


What Is The Problem With Electric Scooters In Cities?

In some cases, the biggest problem is the lack of enforcement in Rome by the police of some pretty basic rules, like only one person per e-scooter, both hands need to be free to hold the handlebars and the biggest problem is people riding e-scooters on the sidewalk.

How Did American Tourists Damage Spanish Steps In Rome?

A 28-year-old American tourist has caused €25k worth of damage to Rome’s Spanish Steps after she tossed her scooter down the marble staircase, which occurred at around 03.45am and it was filmed by a passerby. The video was published by Italian news sites and quickly went viral. Rome police caught up with the woman filmed throwing her scooter, along with a 29-year-old American man who wheeled his e-scooter down the 18th-century staircase. The pair were fined €400 each and received a temporary ban from returning to the landmark.

How Bad Is The Problem With Scooters In Rome?

Roman authorities are concerned about riders speeding and abandoning vehicles all around the historical center of the city. The e-scooter rental market has boomed in recent years, with 14,500 scooters currently available in the Italian capital, provided by seven licensed companies.

Scooters In Rome - Sidewalks

All Around The Sidewalks

Seventeen people have been killed in Italy in the past two years after incidents involving electric scooters, according to the consumer protection association Codacons. Its chief, avvocato Carlo Rienzi, recently described Rome as “a wild west, with scooters going where they shouldn’t, often with two people on board, breaking the speed limit”. Rome police have reported that they record an average of 15 accidents a month, according to AFP.

According to a 2022 news article by CNN:

Rome, the eternal city, has been invaded, conquered and pillaged countless times since its founding nearly 2,800 years ago”, but the “current invasion of the Italian capital comes from e-scooters – more than 14,000 of them”.

Since rental scooters were introduced three years ago as an alternative to public transportation during the Covid pandemic, four people have been killed while riding them, according to Rome City Hall mobility councilman Eugenio Patane. The city’s emergency rooms treat at least one scooter-related major injury every three days, health authorities say. And yet only 2% (around 270) of the foot scooters for rent are used on a daily basis.

Is Anything Being Done In Rome To Fix The E-Scooter Problem?

It is not surprising that e-scooters have been a topic of concern for city officials in Rome, and several measures have been taken to address the issues related to their use. These steps include:

  • In 2020, the city of Rome introduced new regulations for e-scooter sharing companies operating in the city. These regulations require e-scooter companies to obtain a permit and limit the number of e-scooters that can be parked in certain areas.
  • The city has implemented new infrastructure projects, such as the creation of bike lanes and the expansion of pedestrian areas, to improve safety for all road users.
  • Authorities are planning to clamp down on the situation, including actually enforcing the rules regarding people riding on pavements and those with more than one person on board.

The authorities in Rome are planning to impose new electric scooter rules in 2023, which include: 

  • Restricting the use of e-scooters to adults with a proper ID.
  • There will be restrictions on parking locations and specific designated areas.
  • The speed limit will also be reduced from 25 kmph to 20 kmph on roads, with even further reductions in pedestrian areas.
  • Authorization will be given to a maximum of three companies, reduced from seven, and the total number of scooters will drop from 14,500 to 9,000. Of these, only a third will be authorized to circulate in the historical center of the city.
Scooters In Rome - Bikes

Bikes Are Available Too

More Information For Getting Around Rome

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