Publication: Thursday, December 31, 2020 3:13 PM
The days of electric scooters passing on sidewalks and pedestrian areas are numbered. From next Saturday, January 2, anyone who drives one of these vehicles will have to comply with the highway code like any other driver and may even be subjected to a breathalyzer test.
This package of measures, which was approved by the Interior Ministry, also includes a speed reduction: from Saturday, electric scooters will be prohibited from exceeding 25 kilometers per hour.
On May 12, speed changes in cities will also come into effect: 50 kilometers per hour on roads with two or more lanes, 30 kilometers per hour on single-lane roads per direction of travel and 20 kilometers per hour. on time. in which they have a single carriageway platform. In fact, this modification has already been approved in the form of a royal decree in the Official Journal of the State (BOE), but the Ministry of the Interior wanted to give the municipalities some time to adapt their signage and their routes. to changes.
Modifications for personal mobility vehicles
While those who drive a personal mobility vehicle (PMV, such as scooters and sabways) will be treated the same as those who drive, they must also have the same privileges. In this sense, the new regulations open up the possibility of allowing parking areas for this type of transport.
However, it remains to be agreed on the obligation to take out insurance or not: “We are going to open a second phase of debate with the municipalities in which, on the basis of all the experience accumulated, we will move forward with a regulation. much more detailed. planned to talk about everything, ”explains the director general of traffic, Pepe Navarro, in statements collected by Efe.
In all cases, the municipal police will be in charge of the surveillance and control of the VMP. Likewise, with their municipalities, they will establish priorities to sanction certain behaviors or others, as Navarro reminds us.
New measures to protect the most vulnerable users
The new scooter regulations are part of a package of legal reforms, approved by the government on November 10, which aims to generate a new model of road safety that will reduce fatalities and serious injuries by 50% over the next decade. In this sense, the DGT intends to reduce the accident rate of users considered vulnerable; that is, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. According to the data of the public entity, these represent half of fatal road accidents, even if only urban accidents are analyzed, the percentage rises to 80%.
For this reason, Interior decided to lower the speed limits on city streets. Thus they hope “to guarantee both the fluidity of movements made in the main avenues, as well as the reduction of the negative impact on air quality”.
In addition, as Efe indicates, various studies point out that the risk of dying as a result of a crash is reduced at least five times if the speed of the hitting vehicle is 30 kilometers per hour instead of 50: ” The speed of the vehicle has a direct relationship with the chances of survival of the affected pedestrian ”, recalls the text of the new regulation.