Oslo has more electric scooters per inhabitant than any other city in the world, according to Richard Kongsteien, the communication director of the Agency for Urban Environment in Oslo municipality.
The city has 200 scooters per 10,000 residents. Stockholm for comparison has 125, while Berlin, Paris and Rome were below 50. By the end of the summer, there will be roughly 30,000 electric scooters in Oslo available for rent.
As part of its clamp down, the city council is expected to cut the number of scooters available to rent by almost 70 percent by imposing a limit of 8,000.
Rental companies will have to apply for their share of the scooters under the rule change proposed by The Agency for Urban Environment.
In addition to this, rental scooters will be picked up and dropped off in designated areas, similar to how city bikes in Oslo are used.
Curfews on when users can rent scooters were announced on Tuesday ahead of the shake-up. From August, rentals will be closed at night between 11pm to 5 am.
Some rental services had already introduced curfews at weekends after Oslo University Hospital said that people involved in scooter accidents accounted for around 30 percent of all patients in the accident and emergency department at the hospital.
The hospital claimed most patients came in during the evening at weekends, with around half having alcohol in their system.
The city council will discuss the new measures on Tuesday with the potential changes coming into effect from August, according to Kongsteien.
“We have the legal authority, which was passed in the Storting (Norwegian parliament) in June, and we have worked at speed with the regulations,” he told VG.
Rental companies and authorities in Oslo have been under pressure to regulate the use of scooters more thoroughly over the past two weeks after doctors from Oslo University Hospital hit out at how lax the rules are.
Acting chief physician Angelina Sergeeva at Sunnaa’s Rehabilitation Hospital, where patients are transferred to following traumatic injuries, has said several factors make electric scooters more dangerous than, for example, a bike.
“Major risk factors for getting a serious brain injury in electric accidents are that you do not wear a helmet and around half the injuries occur under the influence of alcohol when both judgment and balance are affected, and you drive at high speed,” Sergeeva told VG.
The chief doctor also said that around one in three involved in electric scooter accidents suffers some form of head injury—these range from minor injuries up to the most severe traumatic injuries that can have life-changing effects.