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PLEVs and Traffic Accidents in Germany

13 days ago

3 min read

The German Federal Bureau of Statistics (De Statis) has for the first time published statistics on accidents with personal light electric vehicles (PLEVs), such as electric scooters.

From January until September 2020, the German police registered a total of1,570 accidents in which riders got injured or died. A total of 7 riders have lost their life, 269 riders had severe injuries and 1,096 riders had minor injuries.

In the press release, De Statis mentioned that they are now able to make comparisons with other vehicles such as (electric) cycles. In the first 9 months of 2020, the German police registered 73,293 cycle accidents . 351 of the cyclists were involved in fatal accidents, 14,128 had major injuries and 59,633 minor injuries.

The PLEV share in the overall accidents statistics is relatively low compared to other vehicles. A reason for this could be that PLEVs are only allowed on public roads since the decree of 15 June 2019 and are therefore still unknown to many people. In Q1 of 2020, 252 accidents with personal injuries were registered, in Q2 412 and 901 accidents in Q3. For Q3, 4 riders died, 145 had severe injuries and 627 had minor injuries. It is not possible yet to make a comparison with the number of PLEVs riders and increasing number of accidents to see if there is a relative growth of accidents as well.  

The overall volume of traffic has decreased over the course of the year due to the pandemic in 2020 which resulted in a lower number of accidents. In the first 9 months of 2020, 1,68 million accidents were registered. Compared to the same period in 2019, there is decrease of 15.4% in accidents.

PLEVs in Germany are allowed since 15 June 2019. Riders must use cycling infrastructure if present, driving on pavements is forbidden and wearing a helmet is encouraged. A driving license or moped certificate is not required but the driver needs to be at least 14 years old. PLEVs must be insured, which must be indicated by an insurance sticker. For more information on PLEVs, go to Federal ministry of traffic and digital infrastructure.

The press release of De Statis is here and the decree on PLEVs here. If you are interested in the PLEV traffic rules and technical requirements in other European member states, LEVA-EU is preparing a briefing which will list all requirements. Please contact daan@leva-eu.com for more information.

Photo by Okai Vehicles on Unsplash

Daan van Dieren

Daan is a policy officer for LEVA-EU

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