DGT refreshes rules and penalties governing Personal Mobility Vehicle (scooter) usage

Image of man riding an electric scooter.

Image of man riding an electric scooter. Credit: Opolja/Shutterstock.com

The DGT in Spain has refreshed its rules and penalties for the usage of personal mobility vehicles (VMP) after a sharp increase in the numbers on the road.

The refresh issued on Monday, July 11 brings the rules that given the use of these vehicles in line with those of cars and other motorised vehicles.

The rules, which are said to be in line with those being debated by the European Union, could see fines of up to €1,000 being levied for contraventions of the new rules.

The new rules and penalties

For the most part, the new rules and regulations are what most drivers will already be used to. Most of the rules apply to motorists already, however, many youngsters who never completed their driver’s licence may find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

  • Alcohol and drugs

VMP users can be required to submit to an alcohol and drug test, which in the case of exceeding the alcohol rates will result in a fine of between €500 and €1,000 and in the event of the presence of drugs in the driver’s body, a €1,000 fine.

Refusal to submit to tests will be reported as an administrative offence that could see the VMP user appear in court.

  • Mobile phone usage

Using a mobile phone or any other communication system manually while operating a VMP will result in a penalty €200 (article 18.2 of the RGC).

  • Using headphones

The use of headphones or helmets containing headphones is also prohibited and could if detected result in a €200 fine (article 18.2 of the RGC).

  • Helmet and other protection gear

Where local ordinances require the wearing of helmets or protective gear failure to do so can result in a fine of €200 and the immobilisation of the VMP.

  • Sidewalks and pedestrian zones

Expressly prohibited from being used on sidewalks and pedestrian zones, failure to comply will result in a fine of up to €200 depending on local ordinances. This does not apply to items that are not powered such as skateboards, skates or similar.

  • Passengers are forbidden

VMPs and other electrically powered light vehicles are only authorised to transport one person and no more. Transporting a passenger could result in a fine of up to €100 (article 9.1.5.E of the RGC).

  • Reflective clothing or lighting system

It is considered negligent if you cannot be seen while using a VMP, which means that in the dark you need to either wear reflective clothing or have lights fitted to the unit. Failure to do so can lead to a penalty of €200 (article 3.1 of the RGC)

  • Local ordinances

Councils and communities are allowed to implement additional laws that may for example limit the usage of such vehicles in parking lots and bus stops. Users should check to see what additional regulations apply before using their unit.

  • Parents and legal guardians

The law makes parents and legal guardians jointly and severally liable for offences committed by those under the age of 18. It is therefore essential that you ensure your children are aware of the law and that they adhere to the restrictions or you could end up paying for their fines.

VMPs – what are they?

A VMP is a single-user vehicle with one or more wheels that is powered and which is designed to travel at between 6 and 25 km/h. Those that travel faster are treated in the same way as motorcycles.

Units that are not considered VMPs are:

  • Vehicles without a self-balancing system and with a seat.
  • Vehicles designed for competition.
  • Vehicles for people with reduced mobility.
  • Vehicles included in the scope of Regulation (EU) N2 168/2013: scooters with a seat, motor cycle, two-wheeled mopeds…. Remember that these vehicles require administrative authorisation to drive, circulate and have an insurance policy, in addition to the use of a helmet.
  • As a general rule, gadgets that do not exceed a speed of 6 km/h are considered toys.

Be warned the DGT does intend to police the changes that involve new rules and penalties,.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.