Schoolchildren very soon will return to the normal school rhythm after a half-year’s gap due to the emergency situation, which means that parents should take particular care to remind and make sure they have been heard, whether children have kept in mind the safety rules while on street, especially when using so increasingly popular electric scooters, emphasize BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (BTA).
“In the last six months, children and teenagers have been studying remotely as well as having rest; many have gone to the countryside where one can run around freely and care less for traffic and other threats, therefore it is quite natural that they would have become a lot more airy than usual after the long summer holidays,” admits BTA Baltic Risk Underwriting Department Director Ivo Danče.
The specific situation this year requires special care to be taken to reduce the number of injuries and accidents when children return to school after a time spent studying remotely and the long summer holidays.
A relatively new additional risk of road accidents is the increasing use of electric scooters. “September tends to have warm and scooter-friendly weather, which encourages to catch the last "summer" days. But it has not been really assessed and is not regulated whether a 14-year-old child, for example, is able to handle the relatively fast electric scooter and respond adequately to various situations that may arise in traffic,” warns I. Danče.
“It is very important for parents to teach their children to observe their surroundings and to react appropriately in dangerous situations, even if they are distracted by seeing their friends or, a lot worse, using smart devices on the street. We often see children and teens immersed in the digital world and not taking their eyes off the mobile device, even when crossing the street, and not always at the green light. Sometimes it is scary to fancy a driver behind the wheel at the same time who is just carried away by smart devices despite of the ban on using them while driving and the penalties for that,” adds I. Danče.
He also points to the careless use of electric scooters, which can cause a variety of serious injuries. While the regulation for electric scooters is yet pending, electric scooters are considered to be bicycles if the maximum speed specified by the manufacturer does not exceed 25 km/h. Whereas, if the maximum speed of an electric scooter exceeds 25 km/h or its power exceeds 250 W, then it should be equipped as a moped and also the requirements for the driver as a moped driver, informs the Ministry of Transport.
At present, electric scooters are not required to be registered with the Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD), emphasizes Ilze Greiškalna, Public Relations Specialist of the Ministry of Transport. However, when driving on an electric scooter, the Road Traffic Law and the Road Traffic Regulations must be observed. The Ministry of Transport has developed amendments to the Road Traffic Law and the Road Traffic Regulations, which will apply to the use of electric scooters.
Like with bicycles, such vehicles must primarily be used on cycling infrastructure. When driving on the sidewalk with an electric scooter, keep in mind that pedestrians should be given priority and an appropriate driving speed should be observed so as not to endanger yourself or others. It is also important that you must be at least 14 years old and have a valid cyclist's license to use an electric scooter on road.
To take part in traffic, the use of a safety helmet is not yet mandatory, although it is strongly recommended, and parents should encourage children to use one. Injuries are possible and the helmet helps protect your head from severe bruises if you happen to fall off the electric scooter.
Used properly, an electric scooter is no more dangerous than other vehicles, so let's teach children and young people to use them responsibly!
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltics, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA employs more than 1,000 employees in the Baltics. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG with close to 200 years of experience in the insurance business. With about 50 companies in 25 countries and more than 25,000 employees, Vienna Insurance Group is a clear market leader in its CEE markets. Vienna Insurance Group is the best-rated company of ATX, the leading index of Vienna Stock Exchange with a rating of A+ with stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s; its share is also listed on the Prague Stock Exchange.
Marketing and Public Relations Department Director
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS