The use of helmets has become mandatory for electric scooter riders in Spain.
Public transportation around cities is changing and this relatively new mode of transport- the electric scooter- is becoming a common site on our streets, pavements and roads. Reducing the use of the private car and practising sustainable mobility is forcing us to change our habits, however, this must always be done with safety in mind.
Electric scooters, cars, motorcycles, buses and pedestrians fill the streets but the odd one out is the scooter. Riders meander through crowds virtually unobstructed forcing pedestrians to jump out of the way, they mount pavements and dart into roads, seemingly impervious to any road act that covers other modes of transport.
The many thousands of users who have joined the scooter fashion without the slightest idea of complying with the traffic regulations are endangering both themselves and others.
The dangers of the misuse of the scooter are many and so the Spanish Director of Traffic- the DGT- has decided to put the brake proceedings as it were.
The latest measure, which is already in force and pending its approval in the Senate, is the mandatory use of helmets, which is so far stuck in some sort of a ‘legal limbo’ but is expected to be finalised any day now.
From Friday, October 1, with the proposed modifications approved in Congress within the Traffic and Road Safety Law, the driver of a personal mobility vehicle (VMP) in Spain, such as an electric scooter, is obliged to wear a protective helmet under the terms of the new regulations.
This measure had already been approved by the PSOE, United We Can, PP, PNV and Citizens political parties.
Article 47 of the reformed Law on Traffic and Road Safety reads as follows:
“The driver and occupants of motor vehicles and mopeds are obliged to use seat belts, helmets and other protective elements in the terms to be determined by regulation. The driver of a personal mobility vehicle shall be obliged to wear a protective helmet under the terms determined by regulation.
The driver and, as the case may be, the occupants of bicycles and cycles, in general, shall be obliged to use a protective helmet on urban, interurban and crossing roads, under the terms established by regulation, and its use shall be obligatory for minors under sixteen years of age and also for those who circulate on interurban roads. Exceptions to the provisions of this paragraph shall be established by regulation”.
While the text approved by the Interior Commission of the Congress of Deputies now passes to the Senate, the reform of Article 47 has already enabled the mandatory use of the relevant safety device. Thus, both Traffic and City Councils have the legal capacity to oblige all users to wear helmets and may be subject to a fine fo rnon-compliance.
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