Sunday, November 28

Half the usage rate for wearing a helmet… Is there no way to ‘safety + convenience’?

Recently, the number of users who ride electric kickboards has decreased significantly. This is because wearing a helmet and holding a driver’s license have become mandatory, but companies are complaining that the towing of illegally parked and parked kickboards has increased, making the burden even greater.

Reporter Lee Ho-gun pointed out whether there is a way to satisfy citizens’ safety and convenience together.

A road in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul.

The electric kickboard blocking the entrance of the subway station is towed.

[백정기/견인업체 직원 : 하루에 (견인만) 한 스무 건, 서른 건 정도 됩니다.]

Since last July, the city of Seoul has towed 12,000 illegally parked electric kickboards.

The towing and storage fee for four months alone exceeded KRW 700 million.

Thanks to this, the number of reports of illegal parking was reduced by nearly half, but the burden on the company increased.

[이동근/퍼스널모빌리티 산업협의회 팀장 : 대부분 영세한 스타트업으로 시작한 기업들이기 때문에 오래 버틸 수 있는 기업들이 많지 않을 거라고 봅니다.]

Users also have a lot of complaints.

This is because the mandatory wearing of helmets, which has been in effect since May.

It is said that carrying a bulky helmet is far from reality.

[박정우/경기 수원시 : 아무래도 헬멧을 들고 다니기 불편하니까. (킥보드) 편하긴 했는데 지금은 많이 못 쓰는 것 같아서….]

After the helmet became compulsory, users of shared kickboards were virtually cut in half.

A number of companies are withdrawing from the shared kickboard business due to the sharp drop in users and the burden of maintenance costs.

[‘공유 킥보드’ A 업체 관계자 : 일단 서울에서 3개 구에서 운영 대 수를 다른 구나 아예 다른 지방 도시로 이동 조치한….]

It is a situation that needs a way to achieve both safety and convenience, but there are opinions that lower the speed limit to loosen the regulation and limit the number of shared kickboards to prevent over-competition.

[김필수/대림대 미래자동차공학부 교수 : 미래 모빌리티 사업 모델인데도 죽어가고 있다는 게 문제점입니다. 지금 최고속도 25km 미만으로 헬멧 쓰게끔 만들었는데 아예 15km 미만으로 낮춰서 헬멧을 벗게 하는 방법도 중요하고요.]

At the end of this month, the National Assembly and the Seoul Metropolitan Government hold discussions to improve the shared kickboard system one after another to find a win-win solution.

(Video editing: Park Chun-bae, VJ: Kim Hyeong-jin)

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