Table of contents:
- Not wearing the helmet
- Drive indiscriminately on the sidewalk or pedestrian areas
- Do not signal the maneuvers
- Failure to respect road signs or pass preferences
- Driving a scooter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Parking in an anarchic way
That electric scooters and the rest of Personal Mobility Vehicles (VMP) are a practical and efficient mobility solution is quite clear, but we still have a long way to go to properly integrate this type of vehicle into circulation.
On the one hand, we still do not have specific regulations for them, but that does not mean that their use is exempt from duties and responsibilities. Unfortunately we still commit many mistakes using electric scooters that we are going to review next.
Not wearing the helmet
It's not true that electric scooters do not require the mandatory use of a helmet, at least not in most cities, but it is a really important security element that we should not forget at any time.
It should be remembered that electric scooters are vehicles capable of reaching (legally) 25 km / h or exceeding this speed (illegally), and on the other hand, their small diameter wheels make them unstable sets in front of the irregularities of the terrain, being able to suffer falls easily.
According to a study by the Austin (Texas) Department of Public Health, 33% of the users of electric scooters admit to having been injured in the first use and the 63% admit some type of injury in the first nine times which has been mounted on one.
Most of the serious injuries caused by falls from an electric scooter result in head trauma due to the type of fall, so the use of a helmet is much more than recommended.
Drive indiscriminately on the sidewalk or pedestrian areas
Currently we continue without a state regulation implemented by the General Directorate of Traffic that covers Personal Mobility Vehicles. We are still waiting for the regulations that include VMPs as vehicles within the Traffic Regulations, so for the moment the municipalities are in charge of regulating the proliferation of electric scooters via ordinances.
In most cities that have started to regulate the use of electric scooters there is a common denominator. Although there are extreme cases such as in Barcelona where its use on the sidewalks is prohibited, there are other cities in which yes allowed under certain conditions of civility as in Madrid if you do it while traveling at pedestrian speed.
However, the fact that their use on the sidewalks is allowed in certain cases does not mean that they can be used on the sidewalk at 25 km / h, or that they can be used on any sidewalk, no matter how narrow, invading the space reserved for pedestrians with a vehicle..
But this possibility of use It does not mean that you can switch between the road and the sidewalk indiscriminately. It is absolutely forbidden that an electric scooter that circulates on the road and reaches a traffic light in the red phase invades a pedestrian crossing and crosses the sidewalk to later resume circulation on the road.
This fact constitutes an infringement of article 121.5 of the General Traffic Regulations, which states that "the circulation of all kinds of vehicles should in no case be carried out on sidewalks and other pedestrian areas", and implies a fine of 200 euros.
Do not signal the maneuvers
In the same way that it appears in the previous point, an electric scooter is circulating on public roads and therefore it is a motor vehicle that must be subjected to minimum regulations, but also must know live and interact with other users of the road.
As is the case with bicycles (at least in theory), those VMP that circulate on roads open to traffic they must point out their maneuvers so that the rest of the drivers can be aware of the movements to be carried out. Stop, turn right, or turn left in the same way that you do (or should do) by bike.
Precisely because it is the minimum exponent of a vehicle in circulation, the electric scooter it is the most exposed and vulnerable vehicle of how many can be found on the street, so its users should pay a special interest in being seen in traffic and making their maneuvers known in a clear and precise way.
Failure to respect road signs or pass preferences
The accessibility to the use of electric scooters, especially those of shared use, generates a false sense of freedom among its drivers. The use of these devices in an affordable and agile way causes that many of the users do not comply with the traffic regulations.
And it is also that according to the data reflected in a report prepared by RACE, Castrol and BP, the users of Personal Mobility Vehicles they believe in some way unpunished to penalties for misusing these vehicles.
Thus, it is not difficult to find VMP in large (or not so large) cities that ignore the signs that regulate traffic, driving in the opposite direction or skipping traffic lights. In these cases and against your usual perception, they can be sanctioned by the authorities.
Driving a scooter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
At this point it should go without saying, but it seems like it doesn't hurt to remember it. We must insist that VMPs are vehicles, and they are vehicles that circulate, so they must be subject to minimum standards of behavior within road traffic.
That is why its users They cannot drive this type of vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as these substances can reduce their psychomotor capacities and can cause accidents with consequences both for themselves and for other users.
With the regulations in hand, as they are not yet considered as vehicles, although an electric scooter driver traveling under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not considered a driver, he may be required for a control. In case of positive you will not be charged with a crime against road safety (for now).
The most recent case we saw in Zaragoza where a woman collided with her electric scooter against a tree and when the Local Police went to the scene of the incident the woman gave a positive of 0.65 mg / l of expired air, imposing a administrative penalty of 1,000 euros.
Parking in an anarchic way
That they are Personal Mobility Vehicles, that occupy little space, that are light and that are not yet included in the General Traffic Regulations as vehicles does not imply that electric scooters can be parked anywhere and in any way.
This problem affects almost exclusively those thousands of electric scooters that populate cities like Madrid thanks to the proliferation of VMP rental companies, but it represents a problem for all passers-by and even for other vehicles.
Within the Sustainable Mobility Ordinance that regulates the use of electric scooters in the capital and on which the ordinances of other Spanish cities are based, as it is the most complete, we see that the sidewalk should be the last resort of parking for VMPs, but instead it is where we see them most frequently.
Electric scooters must be parked in the designated parking areas, in the parking areas on the road without occupying more than 2 meters and only on the sidewalk when they are wide, park close to the curb and leaving 2 meters with respect to tactile-visual pavements.