Though relatively new in the market, electric scooters are increasingly becoming popular around the world. With the increasing popularity, there has been a surge in sales over the past few years, forcing some counties to develop regulations on the use of electric scooters on public roads and private land. Though these regulations may differ from one country to another, they cover essential aspects like speed, insurance and safety. This article will cover electric scooter’s speed limits and other related regulations in the UK and other European countries. Read on to learn more!
How Fast Do Electric Scooters Go?
Most scooters will reach a top speed of 30mph. The top speed of your scooter will be determined by factors like your weight, the terrain of where you are riding it, battery life and many more. However, no matter how fast your electric scooter can go, most countries have speed limits far lower than that. In the UK, the speed limit for e-scooters is 15.5 mph. You may also be required to go down up to 8mph in some ‘go-slow’ areas in cities.
In addition, since the UK has not yet allowed the private use of e-scooters on roads, pavements and cycle lanes, the set speed limits are only for rental-scooters in cities where there is an e-scooter trial. Private scooter owners are only allowed to use them on private land if they have the landowner’s permission.
E-Scooter Regulations in Other European Countries
In France, one must be at least 12 years old to ride on a pavement. However, you are not allowed to ride the scooter on pavements and country roads. Failure to comply with the above regulations will cost you a €135 fine.
The maximum speed for scooters in France is 25km/hour, and riding beyond that can cost you up to €1500 in fines. For safety reasons, riders on allowed faster roads are required to wear a helmet and high-visibility clothing. In addition, only one person is allowed to ride an e-scooter and using mobile phones or headphones when riding is prohibited.
Ireland is a little bit left behind when it comes to the legalisation of e-scooters. However, there is hope that the government may legalise the use of e-scooters on public roads in 2021. Lawmakers are using other countries’ experiences to come up with rules on where and how to use e-scooters. In October 2021 Ireland fully legalised E scooters for use on public roads. It will take some time for the new legislation to come into force but it is looking good for micro motorists in Dublin Ireland.
It is legal to ride e-scooters on public roads in Germany, but since they are categorised as light electric vehicles, their use comes with some provisions.
First, e-scoter riders are encouraged to use the bike lane, but if there are none, one can use their scooter on the street. You can also use your e-scooter on public roads if you have valid insurance and the e-scooter meets all the requirements.
All scooters that follow the rules provided by the law, like having a steering bar, maximum motor power of not more than 1500 Watt and a maximum speed of 20km/hour, get an ABE or Allgemeine, which is printed on the e-scooter. The manufacturer’s name must also be printed on the bike. An electric scooter doesn’t need to have front and rear lights, a horn and independent brakes.
Electric scooters are legally considered as vehicles in Spain from January 2021. However, for safety reasons, the maximum speed for e-scooters in Spain is 25km/h, and it is illegal to use them on pavements, motorways and tunnels. The use of mobile phones and headphones when riding is also prohibited, plus though there is no regulation requiring riders to wear helmets, one should wear a reflective vest. Lastly, ensure that you don’t ride your e-scooter under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as it can lead to serious legal problems.
Anyone looking forward to buying an e-scooter in Spain should get a circulation certificate provided by the manufacturer.
Thanks to their environmental friendliness and low cost of purchase and maintenance, most people prefer e-scooters over motorbikes. However, their lack of signalling features calls for the need for governments to come up with regulations that will guide their use. As explained above, most European countries have come up with regulations governing the use of e-scooters to ensure the safety of riders and the general public.
Though some countries, like The UK and Ireland, haven’t legalised e-scooters on public roads and pavements, most European countries have legalised their use under certain conditions. Most have set maximum speeds and restrictions on where they are legally allowed to be used. Some countries also have strict regulations on the design and the safety gears for riders. Though it may take longer before e-scooters are freely allowed on our road like other vehicles, most countries have made the first step of allowing their use in less risky areas.
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