The new Law on Road Traffic Safety prohibits parking at publicly accessible charging stations for electric vehicles. Thus, every vehicle parked at the filling station, which is not being filled at the same time, will be moved by the parking service and will receive a fine for illegal parking in the amount of HRK 300. Also, the service of moving vehicles in many cities costs over HRK 500, so parking at filling stations is by no means profitable.
“This change in the law will make it easier for all drivers of electric vehicles to use their vehicles on a daily basis. Namely, in the last few years, many drivers have used the opportunity to park at filling stations in order to avoid parking fees. But in this way, drivers of electric vehicles were deprived of the opportunity to charge their vehicle even when the charging station is free, so we have been waiting for a decision like this for a long time”, explained Hrvoje Prpić, president of the national e-mobility association Strujni krug.
The new Road Traffic Safety Act defines and regulates vehicles such as electric mobility scooters and unicycles with electric drive. The aforementioned are now defined as personal vehicles whose engine capacity is not greater than 25 cm³ or whose electric motor’s continuous power is not stronger than 0.6 kW and which cannot develop a speed greater than 25 km/h on a flat road.
If the electric scooter is more powerful or faster than the specified characteristics, it must not be used in public traffic, so the only option for using more powerful or faster scooters is to limit them to a maximum speed of 25 km/h or certify and, if possible, register . What conditions are required in order for electric vehicles to be certified and registered must be checked at the Croatian Vehicle Center.
As with bicycle drivers, personal vehicles must move on a bicycle path or bicycle lane in the direction of movement, and if there are none, they can move on areas intended for pedestrian movement and calm traffic zones, provided that they take into account the safety of other participants in the traffic. New in the Law is that during the night or when visibility is reduced, all drivers of bicycles and personal vehicles participating in traffic must be marked with a reflective vest, reflective clothing or other reflective markings.
However, unlike bicycle drivers who must wear a protective helmet only up to the age of 16, all drivers of personal vehicles are required to wear a protective helmet while driving. All drivers who do not follow the above rules will be fined HRK 300.
“Strujni krug association was involved from the beginning in the legislative process of adopting the new Road Traffic Safety Act, which unfortunately changed from e-consultation to the final version without notice or consultation with all stakeholders. We welcomed the intention of the Ministry of Interior to regulate new means of personal transportation, but the question remains open as to why the obligation to wear a helmet was not equaled to that for bicycle drivers, as was foreseen in previous versions of the law. In this way, Croatia becomes the only country, along with Denmark, that introduces the obligation to wear a helmet for all drivers of electric scooters. This completely prevents the service of using public electric scooters because people do not carry their helmets with them, so Croatia will probably be the only EU country that will not have a service of public electric scooters”, said Hrvoje Prpić.
The Strujni krug association points out that the provisions on the mandatory wearing of helmets for all e-mobile drivers will slow down the acceptance of new forms of transport that have the potential to relieve city centers of congestion and reduce pollution caused by exhaust gases from internal combustion engines.
“We believe that by educating all road users, we can achieve better safety results, which can be helped by the operators of the rental service of electric scooters, that is, cities that promote micromobility. As with driving any category of vehicle, the personal responsibility of the driver, who must drive the vehicle in a conscientious and safe manner, taking into account the safety of other participants, should be encouraged,” adds Prpić.