Madrid scrambles to adapt to new mobility trends. Therefore, electric scooters are still a very popular alternative, due to the comfort and flexibility they offer. However, to prevent even greater problems, it is important to be aware of the regulations concerning electric scooters in Madrid. Just like with car drivers, if you are thinking of using an electric scooter it is important to know if they are permitted in Madrid, as well as the obligations that you must comply with in order to respect current traffic regulations. Don´t forget that this type of vehicle can reach speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour and, therefore, may entail certain risks.
Just like with cars and motorcycles, there is a minimum age in order to be able to use an electric scooter, as well as having to respect blood alcohol levels, know the regulations regarding the use of headphones, and be aware of everything concerning insurance and the required mandatory equipment.
The regulations in Madrid are very clear about the age you have to be in order to use an electric scooter. According to article 176 of the Urban Mobility Ordinance, users must be at least 15 years old to be able to legally drive on public roads. If you do not respect these regulations imposed by Madrid City Council, you will face a fine of 30 euros.
Using headphones while riding an electric scooter is not permitted by the authorities, since listening to music or other sounds may affect the concentration of the person riding the scooter, possibly leading to a risk. Therefore, it is important not to listen to music while riding an electric scooter, as you may be faced with a fine of 90 euros.
Alcohol consumption while riding electric scooters is not recommended and, therefore, the same regulations as with any type of motor vehicle apply. Exceeding the level of 0.25 alcohol per litre in blood can lead to severe economic sanctions, as well as civil and even criminal liabilities. As you know, the best blood alcohol level is 0.0%.
Although it is important to take extreme precautions when riding an electric scooter, the regulations only require the use of a helmet, as is the case for all cyclists. However, and especially in summer, wearing short-sleeved trousers, using knee pads and elbow pads can help minimize injury in the event of an accident. Wearing a helmet is recommended, but not mandatory, for those over 16 years old. Driving without the regulatory helmet may lead to a fine of 60 euros, for children under 16. As stated previously, the minimum age permitted for this type of vehicle is 15.
At this point, the law is somewhat more ambiguous. However, it states that all electric scooters that are used for some professional purpose will be required to have civil liability insurance similar to other vehicles, such as cars or motorcycles, which are required to have so in any event. For example, tourist visits are considered an economic activity.
The rise of electric scooters in Spain´s main cities, such as Madrid or Barcelona, forced the council to establish specific regulations for this type of vehicle. Therefore, you should be aware that there are areas where scooters can and cannot be ridden. In this sense, they can be ridden on any type of street provided that the speed does not exceed 30 kilometres per hour and that the dimensions of the road are adequate for the safety of the rider. When legislating, it was taken into account that there are two types of electric scooters. While some only reach 20 kilometres per hour, in other cases, they can exceed 20 km/h.
However, in neither situation do you have permission to drive on the footpath, which is reserved for pedestrians. In fact, the debate around speed was key to the decision being taken that electric scooters should have similar characteristics to motor vehicles. On the other hand, within integrated areas at 30 km/h, you can also drive along the road, as well as the bike lane and the bicycle boulevard. As for the M-30, it will be against the law to ride a scooter on sections that do not have traffic lights, as well as on roads, footpaths or bike lanes that exceed 30 kilometres per hour.
The main reason for the penalties related to electric scooters is due to them being parked in areas where this is prohibited. Therefore, to avoid having to pay a fine, it is important to pay attention to where you can and cannot park. As a general rule, you should park in places reserved for motorcycles and bicycles. However, as these vehicles coexist, they can also be parked on the general parking strip of the road, or as a last resort, on the footpath provided that a minimum of three metre of safety distance is respected.
However, in most cases, scooters end up being parked carelessly on footpaths. It is necessary to respect these regulations both on and off the M-30.
In the event a scooter owner is fined, the electric scooter holder company will be notified in order to notify the vehicle owner. The fine for a parking violation is 30 euros, although it may be reduced to 15 euros if it is paid within the period established by the Authorities.
Therefore, despite the Municipality’s insistence on making it clear which streets electric scooters can be ridden and parked on, many citizens continue to break the law. Therefore, you must read the regulations correctly, since electric scooters are here to stay.