The support of electric scooters and bicycles, which have become a part of social life and whose usage has increased significantly in the last 10 years in the country, by the Ministry of Environment, Transport and Technology, as well as by the Ministry of Environment, Transportation and Technology, to reduce the use of fossil fuel vehicles and to give various incentives, increased the interest in these mobile vehicles.
With the increase in the use of these vehicles, it has become inevitable to experience traffic accidents at various levels.
In the country, where electric scooters and bicycles are legally considered in the same category as manual bicycles, there is no obligation to wear a helmet for those who use this new stakeholder of traffic, as is the case for manual bicycle users over the age of 12.
Helmet requirement is valid for under 12 years old
In Austria, the helmet requirement applies to children under 12 and users of two-wheeled vehicles that can exceed 25 kilometers per hour.
Upon the increase in accident rates, the Austrian Insurance Association and the Traffic Safety Board shared with the public the study examining the accidents with these vehicles last year.
In the study, it was stated that 3,882 motorcycle users had accidents in 2022, 55 of them died.
In the study, where 10,871 people using e-bikes, scooters and manual bicycles were also injured in accidents, it was stated that the accidents were mostly caused by violations such as not obeying the priority rule and passing a red light.
In the study, which was noted that two-wheeled vehicles cannot be noticed in traffic compared to four-wheeled vehicles, the importance of wearing clothes that will increase visibility was emphasized.
“Eastern equipment saves lives”
In the study, it was pointed out that the most important life-saving element for those who use two-wheeled vehicles is the right equipment and protective clothing, and it was stated that the most important equipment among these is the helmet.
In the study, which was reported to be used by 88 percent of children under the age of 12 riding bicycles last year, compared to 49 percent for adults, it was noted that 17 percent of electric scooter users and 59 percent of electric bicycle users wore helmets.
“A crash without a helmet leads to 11 times more risky consequences”
Christian Krautner, Chairman of the Austrian Traffic Safety Board, stated that they prepared the study based on the data they obtained directly from the hospitals.
Krautner, “We are of the opinion that an accident that will occur without a helmet may result in 11 times more risky consequences. To prevent more pain and serious accidents, helmets should be mandatory. In our opinion, this justification is a sufficient reason for necessity.” made its assessment.
In addition to non-governmental organizations, some states want electric scooters and bicycle users to make helmets mandatory, as well as elements such as horns, signals and brake lights in these vehicles.
Unlike countries such as Italy and France, where helmet use is mandatory for electric scooters, the Austrian authorities do not plan to impose strict rules on this issue yet.
No helmet requirement on the ministry’s agenda
The Ministry of Environment, Transport and Technology points out that the helmet requirement is not on their agenda, but that helmets are logical and important in the use of these two-wheeled vehicles.
Regarding the helmet requirement, where the ministry and experts have different approaches, Austrians emphasize the importance of helmets, but prefer to abstain from making it mandatory.
Speaking to AA correspondent, Austrian Lora Müller stated that she found it logical to wear a helmet. she said.
A student at the Vienna University of Economics, Alexander Köhbach, argued that helmets should be compulsory.
Noting that he prepared an article on electric scooters and bicycles at the university, Köhbach said, “Many studies clearly reveal that serious skull injuries occur in accidents that occur without a helmet. This is especially true in electric scooters and bicycles. Therefore, I find the helmet requirement appropriate.” he said.
Austrian Markus, who did not want to reveal his surname, said that wearing a helmet is correct and logical, but should be left to the initiative of the citizens rather than a necessity. “It is always better to act with the principle of volunteerism.” said.