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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Alalum with stray scooters – Decisions made, but they continue to hinder PWDs

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Αλαλούμ με τα αδ εσποτα σκοyτερ-Λorφθηκαν αποφΑσε&iota ;ς, αλλα συνεχλζουν να παρεμποδλ&zeta ;ουν ΑμεΑ hindering the movement of pedestrians, while at the same time, the fact that while decisions were taken in a specific direction almost two months ago, the problem seems to continue to exist, raises many concerns and questions.

It is noted that following the complaints made by the Paraplegics Organization of Cyprus regarding the uncontrolled use of personal mobility devices and the abuse of sidewalks, the Municipality of Nicosia proceeded to take measures to resolve of the problems created and among others the abandonment of electric scooters in public places.

Among the decisions, was that in case an abandoned scooter is detected by the municipal authorities in a public place, the Municipalities will proceed to issue and impose a fine, while in case an electric scooter is detected by the municipal authorities which does not have a unique serial number, it will be confiscated from municipal services and his release will entail payment of a fine.

Something that, as the Paraplegics Organization of Cyprus complains, after almost two months does not seem to be happening, since it faces with particular concern a number of scooters neglected in various places, where the smooth movement of the disabled is hindered.

In his statements to REPORTER, the president of the Paraplegic Organization of Cyprus, Dimitris Lambrianidis, said that, “unfortunately, the problem has not been resolved and we have photos of various places where companies place scooters on sidewalks and obstruct pedestrians and PWDs. Also, the Municipality of Nicosia had decided that the scooters should have a unique serial number, so that there is control that the companies have for circulation only the number of scooters defined by their licensing agreement, however, the question that arises is whether they have all scooters today this number, so that they can be issued extrajudicial”.

Almost every day, as OPAK's president noted, “we see scooters abandoned and placed in places that obstruct pedestrians and what we expect is to see how this situation will develop”. If there are any thoughts about new proposals, Mr. Lambrianidis replied that, “we have not made any new decision and we are waiting to see how it will develop and then we will act accordingly. It is a problem that is maintained, because unfortunately, in our country there are no strict penalties and strict implementation of the legislation for violations that generally concern the sidewalks”.

The issue of occupying sidewalks is very important for people with disabilities, with Mr. Lambrianidis stating that, “besides scooters, there are also the various cars that we continue to find and see on the sidewalks. The average Cypriot feels and thinks that the sidewalk is an extension of his house or his shop and he thinks he can use it as he wants”.

How the company that manages the scooters responds

At the same time, the company that manages the scooters circulating in Nicosia, reports that the routes have already been indicated by the Municipality, underlining that they have already complied with the legislation.

Talking to REPORTERthe manager of a scooter company in Cyprus, Grigorios Kononenko, stated that, “The Municipality of Nicosia has contacted our company giving some guidelines and thus we are adapting accordingly with the measures in question. The City Hall has also indicated the locations where we, as well as our customers, can park the scooters and where they can pick them up. Also, the routes that can be used by scooters have been indicated, which are the bicycle lanes and on roads where the speed limit is 30 kilometers”.

It is noted that the parking spaces for scooters are on cycle paths and in nearby places or even on sidewalks which are wide and do not obstruct pedestrians. As Mr. Kononenko mentioned, “if there is a bicycle path next to the sidewalks, then there are also scooters parked on the sidewalks, but they are in a designated place where they do not obstruct pedestrians, nor a person in a wheelchair.”

At the same time, what has been noticed lately is that the helmets have been removed from the scooters, with the manager of the company explaining that, “as a company, we have removed them from the moment we don't there is some legal requirement for companies to provide helmets, as the legislation states that the operator must wear a helmet, but the company does not have to provide it. In general, however, what we see is that the Cypriots use them for their transportation and show that they have acclimatized to the specific means of transportation”.

READ HERE: Scooters are blocking disabled people on the sidewalks – Extrajudicial enforcement and their confiscation is being considered

Source: reporter.com.cy

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