Contxto – E-scooter companies operating in Rio de Janeiro must start providing helmets to users following recent legislation in Brazil’s second-largest city. Governor Wilson Witzel will have 15 days to either sanction or veto the bill beginning June 11.
On June 11, the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro decided to regulate e-scooters in the state. With this, new formalities will go into effect. Besides mandatory helmet use, e-scooter companies also have to purchase insurance for users. Deputies Giovani Ratinho from the Christian Labor Party and Rosane Felix from the Social Democratic Party proposed the new policy.
Other stipulations include banning e-scooters from pedestrian areas, maintaining a maximum speed of 20-kilometers per hour, as well as using proper signals in the evening. Following this legislation, the project also predicts that the local government will conduct campaigns to raise awareness about appropriate equipment use plus measures for inspection.
“Our intention was to unite the projects and benefit the population,” said Felix, who lost three teeth during a scooter accident. “It is for people’s safety. I have already hurt myself, I lost my teeth. Our concern was to protect people and help them avoid what happened to me.”
Furthermore, companies need to also provide a phone number available 24-hours a day. This way, they can receive information pertaining to e-scooters dropped off outside of designated areas.
On a global level, the e-scooter market could be worth US$28.56 billion by 2025. Nonetheless, the industry is still making baby steps in Latin America. Progress has been made, however, with startups such as Grin and Yellow merging to create Grow. The Mexico-based e-scooter startup even acquired payment app Flinto to make it easier for users to rent vehicles.