Government has today published a command paper for a bill for an Act to “regulate the operation of personal light electric transporters, to penalise their unlawful operation, to provide for the seizure and detention of such transporters in cases of unsafe operation, and for related purposes.”

The legislation seeks to define and regulate the proper use of personal light electric transporters such as e-scooters. A period of four weeks during which submissions can be made in respect of the Command Paper has now begun and will conclude at midday on Friday 19th June 2020.

The Minister for Transport, Vijay Daryanani, commented on the publication of the Command Paper: “The context for the publication of this Command Paper goes back some time now and is the subject of a GSLP Liberals Manifesto commitment from October 2019. It is also the case that the experience of lockdown in Gibraltar, the massive environmental benefit of the reduced levels of traffic and our overall commitment to a Green Gibraltar, has spurred us to publish this Command Paper now. The draft of this legislation has been ready now for several weeks, as work began on its preparation a matter of days after the general election last year. It is the result of weeks of hard work by members of my team and the Government’s Law Offices and I wish to record my gratitude to all those who have spearheaded and participated in its creation.

As we said at the time of the election, ‘the free for all has to stop’. We cannot allow these devices, now defined as personal light electric transporters, amongst them e-scooters, to be used with wanton disregard for the safety of their users and others on our network of roads and pavements. Equally, we cannot, and we will not turn our backs on what we consider is potentially, with other electrically assisted vehicles, one of the key future elements of the transport eco-system in Gibraltar. We cannot and we will not allow the reckless use of these devices by a minority to deprive us of the environmental and healthcare benefits of decreased pollution for the population at large. Our geographic location, the nature and geographic distribution of our workforce and our determination to recover to a new and much better ‘normal’ post-pandemic requires us to take bold action we were already committed to taking. We are taking that bold action now, not later.

The Minister concluded by saying: “I now look forward to receiving submissions on the Command Paper in the coming weeks, whereupon I will consider any necessary changes ahead of publication of the draft legislation as a Bill before Parliament.