The vehicle that has brought the biggest revolution in the last few years is certainly the electric scooter. At a time when the world is facing heavy traffic jams, huge pollution and many other things, it is not surprising that such mode of transport took the world by storm. Until recently, you only heard that there is a new mode of transport, called electric scooter, and now you can see them on the streets every few minutes. They have become so popular. They are easy to ride, fun and are a great alternative, both to car and to bicycle and everything else. They do not pollute nor create traffic jams like cars, and they are faster than bicycles and you do not need to make an effort to ride them.
However, there is one problem. And that is that it is mode of transport that is not completely regulated by law. Or rather, it is regulated, but different in each state. Since it can reach high speeds, driving must be approached with caution and must be legally regulated. That is something you already have or plan to buy in the near future, so it is important to know the states where an electric scooter uses faces restrictions.
As the laws in the USA vary significantly from state to state, we will start with Pennsylvania, which is the only state in the USA, and the only one in the world, as far as we know, where it is illegal to use an electric scooter on the roads or sidewalks. According to their laws “these vehicles do not comply with the equipment standards and inspection requirements for motor vehicles” so this is the reason why they cannot be registered and used. For now, there are no indications that this will change, so if you live in Pennsylvania you can’t use one.
2. New York
When it comes to laws at the New York State level, electric scooters are legal, but there are exceptions. The law of New York State claims that every city within the state of New York has the right to regulate vehicles as they see fit. New York City was one of the cities where these vehicles were banned for a while, but that has changed. However, there are certain boroughs like Manhattan where they are still banned. These are primarily heavily populated boroughs where driving it on sidewalks could be dangerous. There are indications that they will soon be allowed in Manhattan to reduce pollution.
California is one of the USA states where new law on this type of vehicle passed recently and it has been in force since the beginning of 2019. The most populous state in the USA allows all its residents to ride electric scooters on public roads and bike lanes but according to the turboant you must not drive faster than 25 kilometers per hour. Even if they drive on streets where the speed limit is significantly higher, they are still not allowed to drive faster than 25 kilometers per hour.
When we talk about USA states, Maryland is one of the places where there are the most restrictions. First, the electric scooter must have brakes with concealed brake wires, an operational kickstand or other structural feature in order to stand on its own. So it is forbidden to lean it on against some building or any other object. Also, you must have front and rear lights. Then the next thing you need is a permit so that they have all your information of you, as the owner of that vehicle in case you break the law. Another thing you must have is a speed governor, and the speed limit is the same as in California. In addition, the speed governor must be programmable so that the speed can be further reduced in certain areas.
We are now moving from the USA to Canada. At the federal level, the law is very similar to that in the USA, which means that electric scooters are recognized as power assisted vehicles and that other regulations are the responsibility of local governments. When viewed in general, they are allowed everywhere in Canada and there are no major restrictions. Check before use what is the speed limit, whether you need a helmet and that there may be certain cities or parts of cities, such as Manhattan where it is prohibited.
6. The United Kingdom
We have said that Pennsylvania is the only country in the world where it is forbidden to drive this vehicle, but that is not entirely true, because the same could be said for the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is the place where most controversy has been over the law regarding electric scooters. However, it seems that things are improving for all those who want to use this vehicle in the UK and that they will soon be able to do so outside the private land, which has so far been the only place in the UK to riding an electric scooter. And you needed the permission of the landowner. Currently, driving on sidewalks and roads is still considered an offense, but legislation is being prepared that will be similar to those in force in the USA and Canada.
We all know how beautiful the climate is in Spain and that electric scooters are the ideal mode of transportation in Spain because it is possible to ride them almost all year round. Laws vary from province to province, so not everything depends on the state government in Madrid, which has allowed the use of electric scooters. For example in Barcelona, which is the most visited tourist destination in Spain you are allowed to ride a bike lanes, but you are not allowed on a sidewalk. The situation is similar in Madrid. So if you are planning to go to Spain, check the regulations.
Although electric scooters may seem a little more serious to us than children’s toys when compared to cars, we should not forget that they can reach very high speeds of over 50 kilometers per hour. That is why laws are needed, and more and more states are recognizing this and passing specific laws.