Up to 17 million Spaniards admit to being regular users of electric scooters or electric bicycles, and 60% of the population sees their potential use in the short term. This data, collected in a study conducted by Línea Directa in collaboration with the Spanish Foundation for Road Safety (FESVIAL), is confirmation of what we see every day on the streets of our cities: more and more people choose what are known as VMPs (Personal Mobility Vehicles) for their urban journeys, driven In the first place, the rise in fuel prices, the increase in car prices, and the subsequent high costs of their maintenance.
The case of the scooter was particularly striking, as it experienced massive outages in major cities, forcing the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) to reverse some usage rules in the new traffic law, the latest update of which came into effect in March. 2022. What are the main aspects that electric scooter users should know?
What does the traffic law say?
When driving a moped, it is necessary to know that although the DGT has set with its new regulations some minimums that both vehicles and their drivers must adhere to, it is the municipalities that are specifically responsible for regulating their use, so that it will always be necessary to refer to Their own mobility plans for each city. For example, Barcelona just announced that it will force electric scooter users to wear a helmet and lights starting in May.
Having said that, the DGT regulations describe very clearly where you can and cannot circulate, the maximum and minimum technical characteristics that scooters must meet for circulation, and so on. These are his main points:
- Trading permit. The law includes a booklet with the technical characteristics that the VMP must meet in order to circulate: dimensions, engine power, maximum speed, braking system … In addition, all electric scooters marketed from January 22, 2024 must have a circulation certificate certifying They comply with the standard. Those who do not have it can no longer be used as of January 22, 2027.
- How to distribute. It is prohibited to walk on sidewalks, pedestrian areas, footpaths, highways, dual carriageways, intercity roads or tunnels in urban areas. On the rest of the roads (bike lanes, avenues …) it must be done at a speed between 6 and 25 km / h. And, of course, only one person can get into it.
- Mandatory equipment. It is mandatory to wear a protective helmet and reflective clothing, although this is one aspect that may vary by location. As for the scooter, it must have a front and rear light, reflective elements on the wheels, at least two brakes and a bell. In addition, the screen is also necessary (with information about the speed and battery) and the presence of a kickstand or kickstand to hold it down. On the other hand, it is recommended to take out civil liability insurance – which is compulsory in some cities such as Bilbao or Castellón – that covers damages to third parties. Its price is variable depending on the coverage, but it can be found from 20 euros per year.
- other aspects. As already in other vehicles, driving with headphones or using mobile phones and other devices while driving is not permitted. In addition, drivers are subject to the same maximum alcohol rates as if they were driving a car or motorcycle, as well as a ban on driving with drugs in the body.
And what about fines?
Although it has been in effect for months, it is not always followed. The study by Línea Directa and FESVIAL also shows that 73% of electric scooter users commute on city sidewalks, while 50% do so without a helmet and 45% exceed the limit on more than one occasion. 25 km / h speed limit. What happens if these rules are not met? Drivers can be punished, and fines range from €100 for two people on a scooter to €1,000 if they consume alcohol or drugs. When a minor is punished, his or her guardian is responsible for the offense and paying the fine.
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