Since their use began to become widespread in cities, the electric scooter has brought with it positive and negative perspectives. In other words, they are seen as ideal personal mobility vehicles for the urban structure and, therefore, they have required specific regulation by the DGT in the case of collisions by users.
The DGT database reflects that 100% of incidents with scooters as protagonists occur on urban roads. They are not permitted on interurban roads or motorways. It must be emphasised that in 2021, there were a total of 8 deaths, 97 hospitalised injuries and 1,097 people with minor injuries in incidents, with these VPM as the main axis.
Currently, approximately 120,000 people are temporary or regular users (rentals and owners) of the electric scooter, the Segway or other gadgets. Meanwhile, more than 40,000 citizens have one or more of these vehicles in their homes, according to data collected from the Association of Users of Personal Mobility Vehicles (AUVMP), which carried out the mobility survey last year.
Although this is a topic open to discussion, which may well change in the future, it should be noted that the current non-obligation of having third-party liability insurance makes it difficult to resolve possible disputes. Likewise, in the case of driving with a VMP and running over a pedestrian, or causing an incident, it is most likely that the authorities will attend the scene to report what happened. Once the event has been written, it will be necessary to begin the procedures with the corresponding insurers.
If you are the owner of one of these scooters, it is worth checking with your home insurance company, because some of these policies include coverage for damages to third parties in the case of bicycle or scooter accidents. If you are not covered by your home insurance, and you, the scooter rider, are deemed to be responsible for the collision, it is you as an individual who must bear the costs of the damage caused, otherwise it is likely that this event will end up in court.
There are now a number of insurance companies who will offer policies specifically for this type of vehicle. The prices vary according to various factors (depending on the user’s age and scooter model). A recent report put these policies as priced between 20 and 80 euro on average, which includes everything that insurance usually provides: civil liability and legal protection, roadside assistance, accidents to the driver, accidental damage, and theft of the vehicle. This is something definitely worth considering as it could save you a lot of money in the event of a collision.
Equally important, the DGT points out that these vehicles are for individual use. VMPs and other electrically powered light vehicles are only authorised to transport one person. Therefore, having two occupants in a vehicle with these characteristics will be punishable by a fine of 100 euro, according to the provisions of article 9.1.5.E of the General Traffic Regulations.
In case an offence is committed by a person under 18 years of age, the parents, tutors, foster parents and legal or de facto guardians, will be jointly and severally liable for the offence committed by the minor.
These scooters must travel at a speed of 6 to 25 km/h. They can circulate around the city, but not on pavements or pedestrian areas. They are not permitted on intercity roads, motorways, dual carriageways or in urban tunnels.
The maximum speed at which these vehicles can travel is 25 km/h, a speed at which the motor will gradually stop the vehicle from moving. In addition, it will have wired circuits so that speed and power cannot be altered. Likewise, they must have a visible information indicator that shows the speed at which it travels and the battery level.
If we drive at night, we are required to wear a reflective garment to warn other drivers on public roads. If this is not the case, it will be considered negligent driving and, therefore, punishable with a penalty of 200 euro, in accordance with article 3.1 of the Traffic Law.