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Personal Mobility Life

작성자HANBAT HERALD  조회수1,648 등록일2022-01-14
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Personal Mobility Life

By Bae So-young Cub Reporter, Freshman of English Language and Literature


Walking down the street, we can notice an increase in parked personal mobility scooters. Nowadays, because the ability to use time is important, the demand for personal mobility is increasing.

According to IGAworks, the user rate of personal mobility has doubled, compared to 2019. The reason for the increasing rate is that using PM is much more comfortable than using public transportation, and accessibility to the users is higher. The electric scooter market is especially more vitalized, compared to other PMs, because it can be used with smartphone applications.

To use an electric scooter, the user has to recognize the QR code using an app, and the fee is priced per minute. To finish using, the user has to end using the application and park it. When the user takes a picture and uploads it to the application, the next user can use it again. This way can make users comfortable, but it also creates social problems. In this article, I will present three problems, and their solutions.


The first problem is, unused electric scooters hinder passage for other people. GPS is attached to an electric scooter, so it can be parked anywhere. So, most users park it at the entrance of an apartment or building. Many complaints are received because of hindering passage. However, in the absence of related regulations, other people have to deal with these difficulties.


The second problem is, electric scooters can be dangerous because hidden defects cannot be found. After using the scooter, it is picked up and charged. While picking up a scooter, it should be inspected in detail. However, most of the inspectors are not experts, so their inspection does not have the necessary effectiveness. Hidden defects cannot be found, so when the user gets injured, it will be considered the user’s fault entirely. 


The third problem is, an increase of danger to passengers and car drivers. According to the traffic accident analysis system of the Korea Highway Traffic Authority, accidents caused by personal mobility have increased by more than 95 percent annually, and the death toll increased by two times. In spite of the fact that driving a scooter on the sidewalk is prohibited, most of the users do drive it on the sidewalk. Inexperienced scooter drivers on the sidewalk can be a threat to pedestrians. Also there are many videos of unlocking or tuning the speed control device of the electric scooter, and there are many cases where passengers ride at more than 25km/h on the road, because this operation is not difficult. Unlocked electric scooters are called outlaws of the road, and they are the main cause of rising accidents.


To prepare for it, as of May 13, 2021, regulations on the safe operation of personalized mobile devices, such as electric kickboards, have been tightened.


Revision of the traffic laws

Punishments

Driver license is essential while driving a scooter

A fine up to 200,000 won

Driving a scooter under the age 13 is prohibited

Punishment to parents, and a fine up to 200,000 won

Driving a scooter with more than 1 person is prohibited

A fine up to 200,000 won

Wearing a safety helmet, and the operation of light fixtures, is essential

A fine up to 200,000 won

Riding only on bicycle roads (Edge lane can be accepted)

 

Nevertheless, there are still many cases of misusing electric scooters, because the users are  unaware of the revised bill. Also, it is practically difficult to punish irresponsible riders. There is also a problem that the bill is less effective, due to the gap between laws and reality. Careful legal regulations are needed on problems arising from the ambiguous identity of scooters as a means of transportation.

It is true that legalities take a large part, but the most important thing is taking responsibility for personal mobility, and having compliance with it. If you follow the electric scooter etiquette, this will create a happy transportation culture. Considering these regulations, I am hoping that users will enjoy a well-mannered PM life, putting safety first!