New rules for electric scooters come into force

They cannot be ridden on the pavement or in pedestrian areas, whilst fines up to 200 euros can be dished out for use of headphones or mobile phone.

Sunday 3rd January 2021 | MIKE SMITH

New rules for electric scooters came into force on Saturday 2nd January 2021, banning their use on pavements and in pedestrian areas as well as imposing a maximum speed limit on urban roads. Riders of these VMPs (Personal Mobility Vehicles) will now have to comply with traffic regulations in the same way as any other vehicle driver, although a license is not required – at the moment.

An electric scooter is an individual vehicle of one or two wheels, with an optional single seat, and powered by an electric motor. During 2018, there were more than 300 accidents caused by VMPs in Spain, five of which were fatal.

At the moment, riders don’t need administrative authorization, a license, or mandatory insurance. Nor is there a minimum age for the use of electric scooters. It is recommended that a helmet is worn but this isn’t mandatory, although it is expected to become law in due course.

BUT: the following rules are now applicable to riders of these vehicles:

  • Pavements and pedestrian areas are out of bounds.
  • Maximum speed cannot exceed 25 km/h.
  • Riding whilst wearing headphones – 200 euros fine.
  • Riding whilst using a mobile telephone – 200 euros fine.
  • Riding with a passenger – 100 euros fine.
  • Riders are obliged to do breathalyzer tests when required.
  • Appropriate lights and reflective clothing must be used at night.
  • Parents will be responsible for infractions by riders aged under 18.

The Local Police will be tasked with monitoring and controlling the new regulations for electric scooters and will be responsible for dishing out the fines.

REFERENCE: BOE 297 – Real Decreto 970/2020, 10 de noviembre 2020

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