Scooter Warning is Very Real

In November of last year we issued our first warning that the law would be changed in order to regulate some of the electric scooters.  Despite the first set of restrictions being implemented, it would appear that some people are still choosing not to believe the official information and that is now leading to prosecutions as a result.

Although many of these vehicles look similar in their size and shape, it is not necessarily based on their physical characteristics, but their power capabilities.

The first restriction that the law has controlled related to electric powered vehicles which are capable of exceeding 25 kilometres per hour, or have power in excess of 1,000W. There are still adverts which are promoting the vehicles, saying that you do not need a licence. 

In the recent legislative change, if you have a vehicle which is capable of exceeding 25km/hr, or has more than 1,000 W in power, then it is now classed as a moped. Those very small cars have a moped number plate on the back.

If the scooter or electric vehicle can exceed 25km/hr or exceeds 1,000W in power, it must be registered. That means it will then be given a number plate the same as a moped, or a microcar, and will be issued with an ITV card as well as vehicle log book. The electric scooter must then undergo an ITV test once it is 3 years old, then every 2 years, just like a moped. The person riding the scooter must also be in possession of a full licence for a moped (category AM), for which a car licence (category B) is sufficient and must also have mandatory insurance.

The rider must wear a crash helmet approved for riding a moped or motorbike; not just a cycle helmet. The rider is not allowed to carry young children as passengers, and will be subject to all the laws concerning driving, including the use of alcohol or drugs, or using a mobile phone.

How to Legalise an Electric Scooter

The scooter must have a European Certificate of Conformity in order to be registered in Spain. Some of the imported vehicles don’t have this certificate and therefore it will be impossible for those vehicles to be registered. It must come with an EU Certificate of Conformity in order for it to be considered registerable.

The certificate will have an homologation code, such as e9*168/2013*11263*01, as an example, which is what the engineer will check to ensure that the vehicle is constructed with the minimum required safety standards built in. The certificate must be taken, along with the vehicle to the ITV station where the initial registration test is carried out. Without the document, it is impossible to have the vehicle legalised, so be very careful of ‘bargains’ which may well be companies trying to offload stock that they can no longer sell with confidence. The vehicle will have a unique serial number which will be engraved somewhere on the structure of the vehicle. This will be checked to ensure it is the same as the certificate.

The inspectors have a standard list of items which they will check, such as lights, to ensure that they all work and that the vehicle satisfies the minimum safety requirements. If it does, the ITV card will be produced, along with the report, which can then be used to register the vehicle at your local trafico office. The scooter will then be subject to the same testing terms as any other new vehicle and must undergo the periodic test which is then based on the age of the vehicle.

Animal Dangers

Animals are capable of wandering freely onto the roads and can be extremely hazardous if they come into contact with vehicles. There are two road signs that warn of potential dangers; one features a pictogram of a cow-like creature which warns of the possible presence of domesticated or controlled animals and the other features a deer-like prancing animal, which warns of the possibility of wild animals. 

There are vast stretches of countryside where roads meander through forests and over hills and animals roam. In agricultural areas animals frequently cross the carriageways.

Parts of Spain have been testing a revolutionary barrier system that aims to reduce animal and traffic incidents, by creating an invisible line of protection between the vegetation and the roads. Invisible to the eye, the barrier is created by smell, so the animals avoid the area, in theory. Although the number of incidents involving wildlife has dropped, the number of incidents involving domestic animals, such as dogs, cats, sheep and cows, has actually increased. 

Drones Approved for Issuing Traffic Fines

Having undergone rigorous testing in numerous different locations and scenarios, the use of drones has now been approved for monitoring traffic violations and, more importantly, the evidence collected by them can be used for the issuing of fines and sanctions.

The drones have already been in service monitoring traffic, but the ability for them to issue fines means that they will be used to offer more protection for vulnerable road users in particular and on sections of roads where the risk of incidents is greater.

As a priority, drones will be used for traffic surveillance in those sections where the risk of incidents is higher; on roads where there is a greater transit of vulnerable users, particularly cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians and they will also be used to pay close attention to distractions whilst driving, such as using a mobile phone.

In addition to the drones, the Pegasus equipped helicopters will be in the air monitoring traffic from afar and on the ground every available traffic unit will be keeping a watchful eye on the movement of vehicles, including in unmarked cars. The network of cameras will also monitor traffic, not only checking for speed, but also for mobile phone and seat belt use.