As far as the mid-term balance sheet of the Munich police for the Wiesn presented at the weekend is concerned, at least the discipline of the e-scooter drivers has improved. This year, officials pulled 181 drunk e-scooter users out of circulation in the first week of Oktoberfest. At the last Oktoberfest before the 2019 pandemic, there were 220.
The electric scooters are no longer new. Since the introduction in the summer of 2019, the people of Munich have found out that they belong to the cityscape. And yet they are still a nuisance, especially when parked wildly on sidewalks and becoming a trip hazard. The lenders are trying to master this by constantly refining the technology of the lending apps. Customers now have to take photos when parking to document that the scooter is properly parked. Of course, this is not decided by some employee at the distant company headquarters, but by the app itself, which supposedly recognizes whether everything is authentic.
If you try it out, it shows that such an app can be quite tolerant when it comes to the interpretation of correct parking. After all, scooters can only be handed in at certain parking spaces in downtown Munich.
This also applies to the Wiesn. There are seven stations around the Theresienwiese. In addition, the scooters are not allowed to drive around the festival site in the outer perimeter. Taboo for e-scooters is a zone that stretches from Lindwurmstraße to Herzog-Heinrich-Straße and on to Paul-Heyse-, Schwanthaler- and Heimeranstraße as well as Ganghofer-, Hans-Fischer- and Poccistraße.
In addition, between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day, there is a ban on borrowing and driving, which far exceeds the restricted zone: it extends from Ganghoferstrasse in the west to Sendlinger-Tor-Platz and from Lindwurmstrasse and Ruppertstrasse in the south to Arnulfstrasse in the North. A map can be found on the website of the mobility department muenchenunterwegs.de.
Drunken e-scooter drivers are threatened with a driving ban from as little as 0.5 per mille
Unlike 2019, when the scooters were brand new, many users seem to have understood the restrictions. Drivers were turned away by the police 40 times when they wanted to drive into the restricted area. Three years ago there were 590, so quickly 15 times as many.
Nevertheless, you can see many, almost exclusively young people in dirndls or lederhosen gliding on the rickety scooters in the direction of Theresienwiese. The providers have built small obstacles into their apps so that they don’t start their way there already preheated or on the way home with a full tank of fuel. Customers of the provider Bolt can also complete the reaction test during the day, which is otherwise only activated in the evening. You need to access a bearded man on screen once he has a helmet on. If the dying doesn’t happen fast enough, the app will tell you: “Your reaction is too slow. We strongly advise you to order a Bolt car ride instead of the scooter ride.”
How many actually allow themselves to be prevented from doing so has not yet been recorded during this Oktoberfest. Because you can still rent the scooter, four measure or not. The fact that this is illegal and that the same alcohol limits apply to scooter fans as to drivers does not seem to matter to some, see police statistics. A driving ban already beckons from 0.5 per mille, whoever has more than 1.1 per mille (reached quickly with Oktoberfest beer) even commits a criminal offence, drivers under the age of 21 and new drivers must be completely sober.
In the case of Lime, you are informed about the ban on alcohol, in the case of Bird you have to type in the word “safe”. This can also be accomplished with an increased blood alcohol level. And if the animal app asks you whether you’ve been drinking alcohol, that doesn’t mean you’re going to give an honest answer.