How we think UK electric scooter law will change. Are you ready?

The e-scooter revolution is happening at a breath-taking speed owing to our archaic laws here in the United Kingdom.

Of course, buying an electric scooter is perfectly legal, however one question that always lands in our inbox here at My Scoot is 'When are they going to be legalised?'.

The case for reform is overwhelming; e-scooters are now available in 350 cities worldwide and have safely provided hundreds of millions of rides. We recently wrote an article about how the UK government is reviewing legislation in a bid to legalise personal electronic transportation vehicles (PETVs) on UK highways. The motivation for UK gov to reconsider the laws around PETVs on our highways is pretty clear:

  1. They are less damaging to the environment and thus would help us reach our United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) commitments, as described in the UK Climate Change Act 2008.
  2. They can help reduce overcrowding on our public transport, which recently resulted in a man falling onto the tracks at London's Oxford Circus station. 
  3. With the right frameworks in place, can actually make cities safer, as we reported in our last article back in February 2020.

In preparation for regulatory change, the team at My Scoot looked at the current legislation in other European cities to shed light into how the legislation might shape up in the UK.

France 🇫🇷

  • The e-scooter must be limited to a max speed of 15.5 mph
    • In June 2019 the Mayor of Paris announced a further reduction down to 12.5 mp/h in most areas.
  • Must be used in cycle lanes but can be used on pavements if kept under 4 mph
  • Riders are not permitted to carry passengers
  • The minimum age to ride an electric scooter is 8 years
  • The use of headphones is prohibited
  • Riders under 12 must wear a helmet
  • The e-scooter must be equipped with front and rear lights, brakes, and a bell

Germany 🇩🇪

  • The e-scooter must be limited to a max speed of 12.5 mph
  • Must be used in cycle lanes and roads but are forbidden on the pavement
  • Riders are not permitted to carry passengers
  • The minimum age to ride an electric scooter is 14 years
  • It is mandatory for the Electric scooter to have two independently working brakes
  • Riders must be insured and display the insurance sticker on the electric scooter
  • The e-scooter must be equipped with front and rear lights and a bell
  • It is not mandatory to wear a helmet but it is highly recommended

Other European countries that have implemented e-scooter rules include Austria, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Portugal and Sweden, and e-scooter regulations are typically drawn from existing cycling regulations: 🇪🇺

  • Belgium has recently raised the e-scooter speed limit from 11 mp/h to 15.5 mph
  • Norway and Sweden have a 12.5 mph limit, as does Germany
  • Italy is working on changes to the present highway code to allow vehicles on pavements, cycle paths and the road
  • Ireland is working on new rules
  • In the Netherlands, e-scooters are classified in the same category as mopeds with 16 as the minimum age. Insurance is mandatory, and the only vehicles legal on the road are those that have been approved by RDW (the national type-approval authority)

So what does this all mean for us in the UK? 🇬🇧

Here at My Scoot, we think the government should adopt a similar approach as the French and Germans limiting e-scooter speeds to 15.5 mph on roads and cycle lanes, not permit the carrying of passengers, having a minimum riding age of 16 and ensure that all e-scooters have mandatory independent front and rear brakes. We also think it should be mandatory for all riders to wear a helmet.

If the Government does go down this route, it would mean the current Xiaomi M365 and M365 Pro scooters are not roadworthy as they do not have an independent front and rear brake.

But don’t worry, we have reviewed and researched lots of scooters and our range of Egrets, Urbans and Inokim would meet all of the above rules with ease.

 

UK Road Safety Illustration - Feb 2020

 

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed.