MALAGA’S Policia Local have begun to hand out the first fines to cyclists and electric scooter riders caught on Malaga’s pavements and pedestrian areas.
After an initial informative period, in which police officers solely notified citizens about the details contained in the city’s new Mobility Ordinance, in force since January 20, a new phase has begun in which fines are being dished out.
The new regulations means that both e-scooters and bicycles are prohibited from being ridden and parked on pavements, those flouting the new laws can expect to receive fines of up to €500.
So far €200 fines have been slapped out to electric scooter riders and €60 for cyclists caught using pavements and pedestrian areas.
The Association of Users of Vehicles of Personal Mobility (AUVMP) estimates that there are currently 20,000 electric scooters for private use and 5,000 for rent up and down the country and the new regulations, put in place by the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT), is applicable in all of Spain.
Use of electric scooters has significantly increased in the last few months, which, according to a recent study has left pedestrians feeling ‘unsafe’ and has prompted the DGT’s commitment to removing these vehicles from the pavements.
Malaga’s City Council’s decision to prevent cyclists and electric scooter riders from using the pavements has, however, sparked concern from other sectors who warn that there are areas in the city where there are no segregated bike lanes making cycling among other vehicles very dangerous, specifically along the so-called carriles 30 (30 lanes).
Since the new regulations have come into force, 5,500 signatures have been collected through Change.org, led by Malaga resident, Vanessa Benarroch, to demand more bicycle lanes in the city.
A protest march has also been organised by Ruedas Redondas on February 14 to demand a network of segregated bike lanes throughout the city, warning that the current infrastructure for cyclists in the capital is ‘bad, unconnected and lacking in maintenance’.
In response, Malaga’s Mobility Department has said that in the coming weeks they will install, at various points along the carriles 30, radars in an attempt to dissuade drivers and cause a reduction in speeding along these lanes.