In recent years, urban transport has welcomed different alternatives. Bicycles aside, the most popular are Personal Mobility Vehicles (VMP) and, specifically, electric scooters. Their notorious presence in cities has forced the creation of specific regulations for them, but there are still aspects pending regulation. Pere Navarro has advanced the next to arrive: mandatory insurance and helmet, as well as a minimum age to ride an electric scooter.
The regulations consider electric scooters vehicles and, therefore, its users must comply with the General Traffic Regulations (RGC) like other drivers. To this must be added the specific regulations made for these vehicles: since 2021, their maximum speed is limited to 25 km/h and the prohibition of driving on certain places (sidewalks, urban tunnels, interurban roads, highways or expressways) has been established.
Mandatory: helmet, insurance and a minimum age
This general regulation, however, leaves several fronts open: it does not establish a minimum age for use, does not require a permit to ride a scooter and is lax on issues such as the use of a helmet or the need for insurance. That is where the next steps that the DGT will take in the legislative matter related to the VMP will arrive. Pere Navarro has given the first clues at the VII Meeting of Cities for Road Safety and Sustainable Mobility, held in Valladolid.
The director of the DGT assures that they are “clear about what we want with electric scooters”. For Pere Navarro, it should be mandatory that the users of these vehicles circulate equipped with a helmet, have a civil liability policy and have a minimum age: “We have made a proposal, but it depends on the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP). Helmet yes, minimum age 16 years and compulsory civil liability insurance.
Consensus with the municipalities
He has also added that these requirements are “legally designed”, but the objective is to coordinate with the actors involved: “We must all be in agreement”. Or what is the same: they have to reach a consensus with the town halls to shape a decree that regulates the mandatory nature of the helmet, insurance and the minimum age for electric scooters. Why with them? Because the municipal ordinances will be in charge of these traffic regulations.
This is what is happening, right now, with these requirements that they want to turn into imperatives. Depending on the city, The minimum age changes and users need (or not) insurance to drive on their VMP. And the same is true of the helmet: since March 2022, when the last reform of the Traffic Law was carried out, this safety system is mandatory “in the terms determined by regulation.” The problem is that there is no standard that specifically regulates it.
It should be remembered that, according to the data collected in a study by the Mapfre Foundation, Until September 2022, five people (VMP users and pedestrians) lost their lives in accidents involving electric scooters. In 2021 there were thirteen deaths.