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Oktoberfest bans e-scooters from festival grounds

Rebecca Staudenmaier
September 10, 2019

With intoxicated riders causing numerous accidents in Germany since they were introduced this summer, Munich officials have decided not to risk it. Strict restrictions and no-go zones have been set up for Oktoberfest.

A woman carries several mugs of beer in a tent at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
Image: picture-alliance/imageBroker

Those looking to zip in and out of the world's most famous beer festival on electric scooters will be hard-pressed to find one during this year's festivities.

On Tuesday, the city of Munich announced a raft of restrictions for e-scooters during this year's Oktoberfest.

A large no-ride and no-park zone has been set up at the Theresienwiese festival grounds where Oktoberfest takes place. Several surrounding areas will have rental and parking restrictions for the vehicles.

From 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. the next morning, e-scooters will not be allowed to be rented in a 1-kilometer (0.6-mile) radius surrounding Oktoberfest.

The five companies that operate e-scooter rentals in Munich have agreed to quickly collect any scooters that find their way into the banned areas.

Read more: Jesus on e-scooter? No way, say Passion Play organizers

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'Ridden while drunk'

Munich officials explained that the rules are intended to prevent accidents, particularly as people leave festival grounds after knocking back one-too-many 1-liter beers.

"Many see e-scooters as toys and unfortunately too often they're ridden while drunk," city administrator Thomas Böhle said in a statement.

Besides drunk riders, sloppily parked e-scooters could pose a risk to other pedestrians and Oktoberfest visitors.

"In order to avoid this and to not tempt anyone, we city administrators, police and also rental companies want to keep e-scooters far away from the Wiesn," Böhle added, using a nickname for the Oktoberfest festival grounds.

The popular but controversial electric scooters have been giving police headaches since they rolled out for the first time on German streets this summer.

This year's Oktoberfest runs from September 21 through October 6.

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