In Italy, especially in the cities, more and more electric scooters are circulating.
There are over 550,000 thousand, according to an initial estimate, of which about 42,000 in care sharing. It is certainly a dynamic and rapid way of moving in the often hectic city traffic. But due to its very characteristics, and not infrequently due to the too reckless use made of it, it is useless to deny that the electric scooter has assumed the reputation of a dangerous means of transport.
Therefore, as we will see, some rules will be introduced for its more appropriate use.
Ed here comes the obligation of insurance, both for electric scooters and for all other light electric vehicles. What does this most recent law consist of, and who does it concern?
Transposed a European directive
In the late afternoon of Thursday 3 August, the council of ministers – among other things – preliminarily approved the draft legislative decree which implements a European directive on TPL cars, also extending it to electric scooters.
As we read, “the Council of Ministers, on the proposal of the Minister for European Affairs, the South, cohesion policies and the PNRR Raffale Fitto and the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso, approved, in a preliminary examination, a legislative decree implementing directive (EU) 2021/2118 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2021 amending directive 2009/103/EC concerning insurance against civil liability arising from the circulation of motor vehicles and control of obligation to insure such liability.”
Insurance obligation for all vehicles
With the implementation of the European directive, the insurance obligation is extended to all vehicles.
That is, those stationary and moving, those used in any terrain and for any route. The obligation “also applies to vehicles used exclusively in areas whose access is subject to restrictions” (such as for the transport of airport passengers from the gate to the plane and vice versa).
Vehicles that cannot be used as a means of transport are exempt from the obligation to insure. Nor those withdrawn from circulation, confiscated, seized or about to be scrapped.
No insurance obligation even for vehicles suspended from circulation (because, for example, used only in some seasons), even on personal initiative.
The government lets it be known that this prerogative, which “until now was left to the free choice of the insurance company”, will be able to last for a maximum of nine months of the year.
The so-called estimator will also be strengthenedi.e. a tool that allows consumers to compare the prices, rates and contractual conditions of insurance companies free of charge.
It can be consulted on the IVASS website and on that of the Ministry of Business and Made in Italy.
Insurance obligation for electric scooters
The insurance obligation will therefore also cover electric scooters, or rather “light electric vehicles”, a category which also includes electric bikes.
We are only in preliminary approval, so it is assumed that the obligation will kick in in the last months of the year. However, we will have to wait for an implementing decree from the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, in concert with those of Infrastructure and Transport and the Interior.
Implementing decree which, within ninety days from the entry into force of the legislative decree, will have to specify which light electric vehicles will be subject to the insurance obligation.
The scooter problem
The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini has already announced a tightening on scooters, who in June proposed to reform the highway code by introducing not only insurance but also the obligation to have a license plate for light electric vehicles, i.e. electric scooters and e-bikes.
Effectively the numbers speak of an increase in accidents related to electric scooters. If in 2021 there had been 2101, in 2022 they reached 2929 (+39.4%). Fatal accidents also rose from 9 to 16 in one year.
More generally, during 2022 there were 3120 deaths on the roads of our country. And in the first seven months of 2023, limited to weekends (the survey includes the days from Friday to Sunday), 759 deaths can already be counted.