The Korea Herald


Speed limit of e-bikes, e-scooters slashed to 20km/h in pilot plan

By No Kyung-min

Published : July 9, 2024 - 16:33

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To address a sharp rise in accidents involving e-scooters and e-bikes, the South Korean government plans to implement a lower speed limit for micromobility vehicles in a project scheduled for the latter half of this year.

According to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety on Tuesday, the maximum speed for micromobility vehicles will be slashed to 20 kilometers per hour, from the present 25 km per hour, in major cities like Seoul and Busan from July to December.

Once the pilot project proves effective, appropriate revisions to relevant laws will follow, ministry officials said.

The pilot project involves collaborative efforts from 10 personal mobility vehicle rental businesses, along with government agencies such as the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the National Police Agency and the Korea Road Traffic Authority.

This measure is a response to mounting concerns over a spike in accidents induced by e-scooters and e-bikes. According to data from the Korea Road Traffic Authority, these accidents have steadily risen from 447 in 2019 to 2,389 in 2023, resulting in 24 fatalities.

Research released in 2022 by the Samsung Traffic Safety Research Institute showed that lowering the speed limit to 20 km/h reduces braking distances by 26 percent and crash force by 36 percent.

Furthermore, the National Police Agency plans to intensify enforcement of regulations for micromobility vehicles, such as helmet requirements, possession of a valid driver’s license and prohibition of pedestrian walkway use, starting in August after a two-week grace period this month.