If you have or you are thinking of getting an electric scooter, you need to understand the rules and regulations that guide the ownership and, the use of an electric scooter in the area where you live.
In many countries, the electric scooter is considered much like a bicycle, so basically, you can use them just like you would a regular bicycle. While in yet some other countries, the electric scooter is considered a vehicle and as such, has to fulfil the same requirements as another roadworthy vehicle.
Since the electric scooter is not exactly a vehicle, classifying it is usually a task. It cannot exactly be classified as a vehicle, and it is not exactly a bicycle either. However, there are some other countries that have laws which govern the specific use of electric motors and vehicles. Usually, these laws are centred on the maximum speed of these vehicles. The laws also cover the kind of engine that these vehicles can have, the maximum power the engines are allowed to carry, and, in what areas these vehicles can be operated at top speed.
As a result of all of this technicalities and loopholes, there is no one electric scooter that we can say is found to be absolutely legal in every country. While the rules and regulations of owning and operating an electric scooter vary from country to country, there are certain legalities that should be looked into generally before you decide to acquire or use an electric scooter legally.
Acquiring a License
While in most countries, there is no talk of a license being necessary in order to operate an electric scooter, in some other countries, they are a requirement.
Accessible and Restricted Areas
Because the electric scooter is not a full-on vehicle, and neither is it a common bicycle, it can be allowed in many countries on public roads, provided that there is a provision of a cycle path. Meanwhile, in some countries, the electric scooter, since it is not a vehicle can also be used on bicycle lanes.
The Use of a Safety Helmet
In most countries, there is a law stating that electric scooter riders must wear a safety helmet. However, in some other countries, you would find that the use of a safety helmet when operating an electric scooter is only for electric scooter riders going above a certain speed limit or for riders below a certain age limit.
As different countries generally have different laws regarding vehicles, and some countries have their specific laws regarding electric vehicles, it is not easy to pinpoint specific rules and regulations of electric scooters that can be applicable to a vast range of countries.
Examples of some countries and their rules as regards the electric scooter are:
- The maximum speed limit is 20kph
- Helmets are compulsory when travelling above 20kph
- Insurance and insurance plates are compulsory
- Cycle paths must be available for riding an electric scooter on a public road
- Engine power is restricted to 500watts
- Electric vehicles must be vetted as road worthy
- Wearing of a helmet is compulsory for certain states.
- The maximum speed limit is 15mph in certain states.
- Riding in a bike lane is only allowed in streets with speed limit above 25mph
- Riding an electric scooter in the street means that you must ride as close to the curb on the right side as possible
Suitable electric scooters for use in USA: EMOVE Cruiser, EMOVE Touring, EMOVE 2.0 and the ORCA Mark I.
In the UK, electric scooters are better known as electrically assisted pedal cycles (EAPC). The laws which govern them include:
- An EAPC is required to have a pedal propelling it.
- The EAPC must be able to show either the manufacturer of the motor or the power output of the engine.
- The EAPC must also be able to show, either the maximum speed of the bike or the voltage of the battery of the bike
- The EAPC can only be used on public roads where there are cycle paths, or on streets with bike lanes.
Australia and New Zealand
- Children between the age of 12 and 16 can only ride with parental supervision
- A license is not required for operating an electric scooter
- Unsupervised rides are allowed from aged 16 and above
- The maximum speed limit is 25mph
- Rides on electric scooters are only allowed on paths
- Electric scooter rides are not allowed on public roads or bicycle lanes
- Riders need to register their electric scooter with the local transportation authority government
- Registrants have to be at least 16 years old
- Registered electric scooters must be compliant with the device criteria (Device weighs < 20kg | 70cm in maximum width | 25km/hour in maximum motorised device speed)
- Requires a registration mark sticker on their electric scooter
- $2,000 fine/imprisonment up to 3 months for unregistered electric scooters
- UL2272 Standard certification required for all electric scooters used in Singapore.
- The maximum speed limit of 25kph with a fine if exceeded
- Electric scooters cannot be ridden on pavements
- Headphones are prohibited while riding
- Electric scooters must be road worthy
- Riders are legal from the ages of 8 upwards
- A helmet is required for riders below the ages of 12
The best thing to do would be to research the rules and regulation of the electric scooter specific to the area in which you live.
Disclaimer: You are able to purchase high quality electric scooters from VORO (www.voromotors.com)
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